Use this tag for questions about the usage of articles (e.g. a, an, and the).

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8
votes
2answers
7k views

A or an XML report? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Does one use 'a' or 'an' before the word 'X-Ray'? Quite simply, should a sentence read "a XML report" or "...
3
votes
3answers
208 views

Why don't we need “the” in “from lack of sleep”?

From lack of sleep Since we're talking about a specific lack, namely lack of sleep, it seems that the article the should be there. That is, From the lack of sleep.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Which is correct: “full context” or “complete context”?

"For the full context, see this." vs. For the complete context, see this." Are both identical in meaning? Do I need the article "the"? Please explain.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“Some same thing/person”

I wonder if it is correct to say "some same thing/person", in order to mean some thing/person same as the one just mentioned earlier? If not, what is the correct way to express the meaning? My ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Superlatives with “the”

What is the rule regarding using the with superlatives? For example: John is the fastest among his friends. John is fastest among his friends. Both appear to be correct. I have seen ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Use of “them” as an article, not a pronoun

I've seen a lot of times the pronoun them used like an article. For example, in the title of the Delta Rhythm Boys Them bones, or in the first sentence of "Money for nothing": Now look at them yo-...
3
votes
2answers
352 views

“A dual nationality” vs. “dual nationalities”

Which one is correct? He has a dual nationality. He has dual nationality. He has dual nationalities.
1
vote
1answer
229 views

“a” or “an” in this situation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: “A” vs. “An” in writing vs. pronunciation Use of “a” versus “an” I know that "an" should be used when a word is followed ...
4
votes
7answers
6k views

City names with articles

Typically we don't use articles with city names, e.g. "Seattle" and not "the Seattle." I know at least one exception though which is The Hague. Are there any other city names which we use with the ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it correct to say “one out of *a* possible four”?

I am curious if it is correct to say "one out of a possible four". This is what I found in a publication: Discrete level (one out of a possible four), corresponding to a range of safety ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Should it be “a established” or “an established”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “a” versus “an” I have always been using a established. The CPM is a established theory that explains......... But when reading print ...
2
votes
0answers
710 views

How did the definite / indefinite articles develop? [closed]

Russian, I believe, has no definite or indefinite article. How did it develop in Latin languages, particularly English? Would English be much poorer without it?
4
votes
2answers
636 views

What is the articulatory logic behind the “a/an” rule in English?

Is there some articulatory reason behind why we choose to preface consonant sounds with the article a and vowel sounds with an? The reasoning I've read in the comments somewhere, I don't remember ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Do I need to put “the” before “most” in this sentence?

Is putting “the” before “most” in this sentence compulsory, optional, or a mistake? Fascination with language and attention to particular regions and communities in America are the most common ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Is the phrase “man is mortal” grammatically correct? [closed]

Or, must it be "Every man is mortal"? How about "Tree is mortal"? In another sense, "A detailed description of a man", "A detailed description of man" or "A detailed description of Man"?
2
votes
2answers
475 views

Use of 'The' in names containing 'Of'

Names, often, are related to places or regions like Mahmud of Ghazni Christopher of Bavaria My questions are: Are such names always related to people from political backgrounds (Kings, Ministers,...
6
votes
1answer
39k views

Article when there is an adjective before a noun [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “a” versus “an” When to use a or an before a noun when there are adjectives before that noun? like the following example: An operator ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Correct pronunciation of “the” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles? What is the pronunciation of “the?” What would be the correct way to ...
0
votes
0answers
458 views

which is correct “a ear” or “an ear”, conversely “a year” or “an year” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct- “A Year” or “An Year”? Use of “a” versus “an” A(n) ear vs. a(n) year in speaking is very confusing, please clarify.
0
votes
1answer
16k views

What is the rule for using “a” or “an” in a sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: “A user” or “an user”? Use of “a” versus “an” If I remember correctly back to my school days, the rule is to use "a" if ...
0
votes
2answers
140 views

“A first post” — makes sense or not?

I once knew a person who titled the first post in his blog, "A first post." It was immediately pointed out to him that correct usage is "The first post." To that he responded: Well, every blog has ...
1
vote
1answer
325 views

“Bad weather doesn't exist” vs. “The bad weather doesn't exist”

Should it be: Bad weather doesn't exist. or The bad weather doesn't exist.
7
votes
2answers
981 views

Definite or indefinite article in “the/a devil's advocate”

I can't quite figure out which of the following expressions is more correct: He is the devil's advocate. He is a devil's advocate. He is playing devil's advocate. The combination of an article ...
5
votes
2answers
616 views

What are “a” and “certain” adding in meaning to the phrase “a certain Mr. Ripley”?

Consider the following sentences: I had my identity stolen by Mr. Ripley. and I had my identity stolen by a Mr. Ripley. and I had my identity stolen by a certain Mr. Ripley. In what ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

When to use “to the …” vs. “to …”

When talking about going to a local bar one person says, "Let's go to 1020!" The other says, "Let's go to the 1020!" The first statement without an article seems correct. Yet, by comparison, "Let's ...
1
vote
0answers
267 views

Use “a” or “an” in a sentence with parentheses? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “a/an” preceding a parenthetical statement Should I use "a" or "an" in a sentence like this: There's just an (usually small, but) unbounded number... or ...
1
vote
4answers
231 views

Should I use the article 'a' here? Or nothing at all?

Which variant is better? We have a chance to get new experience talking to new people. or We have a chance to get a new experience talking to new people.
0
votes
0answers
679 views

“A user” or “an user”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “a” versus “an” “A” becomes “an” before a word beginning with a vowel, does this apply to “u”? Is it “a ...
3
votes
0answers
185 views

Acronyms: “a” vs “an” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use "a" or "an" before acronyms? When there is an acronym such as NSFW (Not Safe For Work) as in the following example This is an NSFW link ...
59
votes
8answers
39k views

Is there a reason the British omit the article when they “go to hospital”?

Why do British speakers omit the article in constructions like "go to hospital" or "go on holiday"? Pretty much all American speakers would rephrase those as "go to the hospital" and "go on a holiday",...
4
votes
1answer
434 views

Is “East or west India is the best” grammatically correct?

In India there is a popular slogan: East or west India is the best. Is this slogan grammatically correct? I know directions have the before them. The east or the west India is the best. ...
1
vote
0answers
276 views

Should one use 'a' or 'an' when the following word is in parentheses? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “a/an” preceding a parenthetical statement This question is a little hard to summarize in the title. I sometimes like to use parentheses to add additional (but ...
1
vote
1answer
368 views

How do I handle articles with parenthetical statements? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “a/an” preceding a parenthetical statement If I were to use a (normal) parenthetical statement, the article would not cause problems. If I were to use a (...
5
votes
4answers
562 views

“In the nick of time” or “in a nick of time?”

They both sound right and I've found examples of both.
1
vote
2answers
433 views

The definite article usage with objects that have names

For example, I have a database and several tables in it. One of the tables is named Clients for this example. When I speak about a table and need to mention its name do I have to use the definite ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Use or omit “the” before profession?

This image-stabilising system for a hand-held camera, developed by cameraman Garrett Brown in 1973, offers (...) Wouldn't it be more correct to write "the cameraman Garrett Brown"? Is omitting the "...
5
votes
1answer
8k views

Do I need “the” before the name of my university? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Definite article before proper nouns I was updating my LinkedIn tagline and thinking about whether I should put the article before the name of the university. Student ...
17
votes
4answers
63k views

“As part of” versus “as a part of”

When should I use "as part of", and when "as a part of"?
5
votes
3answers
475 views

Do native speakers leave out articles in slides for space?

Sometimes a and the take too much space in a slide, and I delete all of them to save me extra lines. Is it a good practice?
-1
votes
2answers
10k views

“A English nerd” versus “an English nerd” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” vs “an”? “a” or “an” for words that don't start with vowels but sound like they're starting with a ...
4
votes
6answers
3k views

Why do we use the definite article in the expression “quite the [noun]”?

Like: "quite the singer", "quite the writer", etc. while he/she is just a singer/writer and is not the only singer/writer, etc in that context.
4
votes
2answers
570 views

What is the etymology of “the”?

I was just having this conversation with a friend. Where does the word "the" come from?
3
votes
0answers
1k views

“An RPG” or “a RPG”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” vs “an”? Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Does one use 'a' or 'an' before the word X-Ray? Hello people, English is not my ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Can I start a sentence with a singular noun with no article?

For example, which one of the following sentences can I use? Consumer of Product X needs to fill out a rebate form […]. Consumers of Product X need to […]. A consumer of Product X needs to […]....
1
vote
4answers
416 views

Is it “comedy” or “a comedy”?

For example in this sentence, do we need an article before comedy? Improv is essentially [a] comedy.
10
votes
1answer
30k views

Rule on absence of the article “the” with plural nouns [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Definite article with plural nouns I recently reviewed (as I believe, rather thoroughly) the rules of using articles in English and I do not recall any rule on absence of ...
7
votes
6answers
6k views

Why does English need an article before any noun?

In my native language, we can say: I have dog Because I don't want to say a dog (one dog, how many dogs) or the dog (that dog, the listener don't care which dog). p.s. after 3 years later, I ...
0
votes
1answer
147 views

Should “the” precede “word”?

What is the rule on using articles in front of "word"? For example: Please remove the word "judge" from your vocabulary.
2
votes
4answers
457 views

Is “What is bounty?” grammatically correct?

Jeff Atwood argues that "What is bounty?" is correct here, but is this really the case?
1
vote
1answer
981 views

Should I use 'a' or 'an' when the following word is within parentheses? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “a/an” preceding a parenthetical statement I'm asking a question on Stack Overflow now, and I'm unsure about this: I have an (Ruby on Rails site's) API ...