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

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99 views

The definite article implying the generic idea of something

I know that the definite article "the" can be used to mean a generic idea of something as in "the lion is the king of the animals." In this sentence, the in "the lion" is used to imply the general ...
16
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1answer
3k views

Was “an unicorn” ever correct?

According to Biblehub and Bible Gateway, King James's Numbers 23:22 says: God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. I don't have a hard copy to check. Is that ...
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2answers
124 views

With passion for … or with a passion for

I am looking at the following sentence and can not understand whether I have to use a or not. I am a ... with [a] passion for ... . From my point of view passion is a noun and therefore it should ...
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2answers
55 views

Boris Group or 'the' Boris Group? Is article omission an error?

From a native speaker standpoint, would it look OK if a company whose name follows the "X Group" pattern omits the use of the definite article when presenting itself on its website, like this (name ...
0
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1answer
42 views

Indefinite articles and ordinals [closed]

I was told that when ordinals are used (e.g., first, second, third), the noun they modify should use the definite article "the" (e.g., "the second phenomenon", "the first study on physics"). Are there ...
2
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2answers
89 views

Use of articles

I'm not sure whether this is the right forum to post my question. In my job I frequently come across instances where the article in front of a common noun used for a person is omitted. Example: ...
41
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5answers
11k views

Why can we say 'an American' but not 'a British'?

I am confused with the use of an indefinite article in front of British or Chinese. To my understanding, we can place an indefinite article in front of any “countable noun”. So, we can say a cup and ...
0
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1answer
109 views

It has a meaning vs. it has meaning [duplicate]

Sometimes I'm really confused with articles. I'd say 'everything has a meaning' but it seems that for some reason most people tend to say 'everything has meaning' instead. However, I've come across ...
0
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1answer
129 views

Can I use indefinite article with superlative adjectives?

In most russian grammar books there is a rule saying that definite article must be used with superlative adjectives. However from time to time I see people using indefinite article. For example, a ...
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1answer
86 views

What is the meaning of 'to be recessed 0.2mm in area shown' in a drawing

What is the meaning of 'to be recessed 0.2mm in area shown' in a drawing
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1answer
60 views

out of the reach or out of reach

I have seen the following on different products. Keep out of the reach of children. Keep out of reach of children. What is the difference between the above statements?
0
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1answer
104 views

“I went into a restaurant, and the waiter…”

"We went into a restaurant. And the waiter introduced us to seats upstairs." In this sentence, when the speaker said "the waiter," does it necessarily mean there was only one waiter and he/she showed ...
0
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1answer
42 views

Is the word “the” required in “…fundamental for the successful functioning…”

The sentence is this: I believe that contributing to the scholarly community is fundamental for successful functioning of academic institutions and progress of scientific research. Does ...
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0answers
53 views

The best time to go out for (a) dinner [duplicate]

I'm not sure why in some situations articles are not going before a noun. E.g. I found this sentence: The best time to go out for dinner. Why is not here a dinner? This link says that we don't ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

When “and” connects two subjects, can we remove the article pertaining to the second subject?

When “and” connects two subjects, can we remove the article pertaining to the second subject (as in the following example)? Original sentence: The implementation of the algorithms on the CPU and ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

when do we omit the article in an OF-phrase? [duplicate]

When do we omit the definite article THE at the beginning of a phrase and for what reason? Removal of skin or the removal of skin. Could someone give some examples?
0
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2answers
86 views

“In this paper, we describe the/an environment…” — should I use “the” or “an”? [closed]

I am trying to decide which should be more correct grammatically in the abstract of my paper. In this paper, we describe an environment. . . . or In this paper, we describe the environment. ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Article necessary with “secret”?

Is it necessary to use an article with the word secret? For example: Teach your children not to keep problems, games, or other activities a secret. or Teach your children not to keep ...
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1answer
54 views

A century ago vs. century ago [closed]

I would like to know which one is correct and if both are correct what is the difference. I want to say that some work was done more than 100 years ago. Do I say "This was done more than a century ...
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2answers
91 views

It is time for “a next step” or “the next step”?

Which form is proper: it is time for "a next step" or "the next step"?
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2answers
1k views

Why do people support/oppose the death penalty (with article), but oppose/support abortion (no article)

Why is the article the used when talking about the death penalty, but isn't used when discussing abortion?
0
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1answer
248 views

“A person” versus “some person”

What is the difference between: There is a person in the room. There is some person in the room.
1
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1answer
72 views

Indefinite Plural VS Indefinite Singular for stating general facts, properties, etc

Is there any nuance in the two sentences below if I want to state a general fact about cars ? A) Cars have 4 wheels. B) A car has 4 wheels. The question above is also a question to itself. So can ...
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5answers
519 views

“Took the Russia out of Vodka” or definitive articles with country names

I'm trying to better understand the meaning of the phrase in the Skyy Vodka ad ("Vodka so filtered we even took the Russia out of it"). AFAIK the name Russia is never used with a definitive article, ...
0
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1answer
49 views

Using “the/a/an” with “and” and “or” [duplicate]

Suppose I need to mention two nouns in a phrase so that they are joined with either "and" or "or". Do I use "the/a/an" with the both of the nouns or just with the first one?
0
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2answers
89 views

What's the difference between the grape, a grape, grapes? [closed]

I'm a non-native English speaker. If I want to say, "The green grape is my favorite fruit." is it okay? And is the sentence above different from these two? "A green grape is my favorite fruit." ...
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1answer
46 views

Articles with “calls” and “stories”? [duplicate]

I'm responding a test. I write a correct answer: I was telling the stories this time yesterday. He isn't answering the calls at the moment. Is the use of the definite article in these ...
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4answers
184 views

Articles for words that function as both a verb or a noun

Do I need to include an article (if yes, which one) before words that can be either a verb or a noun? For example, consider "install." Do I say "After inserting the disk, you need to run install" or ...
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votes
1answer
109 views

Definite article or none in “…at Taipei Zoo” or “… at the Taipei Zoo”?

"Come see the baby panda, Yuan Zai, at Taipei Zoo" "Come see the baby panda, Yuan Zai, at the Taipei Zoo." In my opinion it should be the second choice. It belongs to a specific location ...
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votes
1answer
45 views

Do I use an article if the word is combination of a proper noun and a common noun?

Do I use an article if the word is a combination of a proper noun and a common noun? For example, “Microsoft website.” Would I say “I need to go on the Microsoft website” or “I need to go on ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Is the use of the indefinite article 'a' with the word 'staff' considered standard [closed]

The word staff can apparently refer to a member of a group of service personnel. (Dictionary.com mentions this as one of the meanings of staff: a member of a staff.) I was wondering how native ...
3
votes
3answers
173 views

There are seven days in a/the week [closed]

What is correct and why? Both, or only one of the following sentences? 1 - There are seven days in a week. -> One single week consists of seven days. 1 week = a week = 7 days. 2 - There are ...
0
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1answer
63 views

Which article to choose in this situation?

On our company's website there's a list of projects. One of them can be chosen by clicking on the button Choose the project. In my opinion there should be a instead of the, because we are not pointing ...
3
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2answers
287 views

Why the indefinite article in “my son has a swollen left eye”?

"My son has a swollen eye." is correct English, meaning only one eye is swollen, out of two. But why do we say "My son has a swollen left eye" rather than "the swollen left eye", even though he only ...
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2answers
35 views

Theorem about uniqueness of solution

I want to write down such a theorem. Theorem. Strong existence and pathwise uniqueness hold for Equation (8). A unique solution is a continuous Markov process. I have a question concerning the usage ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Definite article – usage of 'the' dependent on context [duplicate]

Which of the three articles (a/an/the) would the blanks in the following sentence take? It is not unusual for ____ editor to tamper with _____ writer's manuscript. I think it should be 'an' and ...
0
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0answers
27 views

Problem in recognizing correct definite/indefinite articles out of context [duplicate]

I have read some grammar points about definite/indefinite articles, but I still have problems recognizing the right choice in questions requiring them. I know sometimes I can omit articles but I don't ...
0
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2answers
208 views

Which is right and why: Why do people go (to zoos/to zoo/to the zoo)?

I couldn’t find these explanation of exactly how the rules of articles apply in questions like this: Why do people go to zoos? Why do people go to zoo? Why do people go to the zoo? It’s not a ...
2
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2answers
65 views

Zero vs. definite articles in “filial piety of son to father”

Patriotism that glues together a state is a natural extension of filial piety of a son to his father. I want to mean the general piety a son feels for his father. Can I say directly "filial ...
0
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2answers
144 views

English Article [duplicate]

I have come across a sentence where 'Niagara Falls' is used without an article. I seem to remember that there is a basic rule of the English language that there should be an article before any ...
3
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2answers
87 views

Is he “a hero” or “hero”?

Edward Snowden's leak of classified government documents has provoked mixed reactions: is Snowden hero or traitor, patriot or coward? So is hero here used as an adjective? If not why is there no ...
4
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0answers
110 views

What concepts are formed in a mind of a native English speaker when using the articles a, an, the? [closed]

I have been learning English intensively for 8 years and have been living and speaking in the UK/USA for the past 5 years. It has been 7 years since I have been thinking in English without the need of ...
0
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1answer
1k views

Play piano vs. play the piano [duplicate]

When I describe my hobbies, should I write I play piano or I play the piano Are both forms acceptable? And how would you handle the phrase I am an amateur musician, playing the ...
1
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1answer
69 views

A or An in “a (relatively) obscure meaning”?

I've just come across this sentence here at "english.stackexchange.com". "The writer should have taken care not to hide such a (relatively) obscure meaning underneath an obviously silly one." ...
0
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1answer
57 views

Which nouns should include an article after “go to [noun]” in AmE and BE?

When referring to a non-specific instance of a place (hospital, theatre), there seems to be a strange inconsistency as to when you use the. Is there any sort of pattern, or is there any reference site ...
0
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2answers
87 views

Articles in captions (tables, pictures, etc.)

I have some awful problems with editing picture and table captions in a paper I'm working on. Maybe some native speaker could give me a hand. One of the captions is for example: Figure 14. The ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Two types of the definite article

I have a question regarding the usage of the definite article. Here is an excerpt: Those were the days of lofty promises made by a hopeful candidate. Today, we are faced with the disappointing ...
0
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1answer
63 views

Which one is acceptable in an academic paper? Fig 4. show or Fig 4. shows? [closed]

Is it right to say: Fig. 4, Show the wireless transmission of data. Shouldn't it be: Fig. 4, Shows the wireless transmission of data. By the way, another question would be, is it right to ...
1
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1answer
78 views

OO language - no article?

However, we haven't gone through the details of OO language in PHP. A friend of mine, who is a native English speaker, says that this sentence sounds okay to him - you don't need an article. ...
1
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2answers
73 views

“Going to Maldives” or “going to the Maldives”?

The phrase "going to the Maldive Islands" is quite common and it fits the rules. However, when it comes to using just "Maldives", both "to the Maldives" and "to Maldives" are used. Which one is the ...