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

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33 views

Article usage in technical texts: a unique and other cases

Sometimes I write technical texts and wonder which article I should use before adjectives like unique, so-called and given, as English is a foreign language for me. For example, why it is there is ...
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1answer
41 views

What are the different senses of “a”? [closed]

Suppose we know that "terrorism is a serious crime". And that "you have to report terrorism". Can we say that "you have to report a serious crime"? I think that the bulleted statement is true. ...
3
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2answers
41 views

Indefinite or definite: a name or the name

It's odd that I actually knew a girl of that name--(a / the) name that couldn't have been any sweeter. I'm confused to choose which article I should use here because they both sound kind of fine in ...
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2answers
74 views

Omitting articles in nouns - prepositions; after; to; before; from

Why is the indefinite article omitted here? Could it be the definite article, but omitted? Like in the following case in an instruction: Grasp drumstick. Place knife between thigh and body; cut ...
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2answers
50 views

The a/an/the article issue in different contextes

I would be happy to get some confirmation whether I understand the use of the articles correctly in my sentences: Case: sentence: I heard you've got a beautiful house. context: I haven't seen the ...
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3answers
139 views

Do “mens rea” and “actus reus” need an article?

In criminal cases, there exists two elements: a guilty mind (mens rea) and a guilty act (actus reus). Do these two Latin terms require a preceding article, and which would it be (definite/indefinite)? ...
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0answers
45 views

Should I use “an” or “the”? [duplicate]

The question is to fill in the blanks with an appropriate article : It is paradoxical that .......... average consumer cannot decide which technology will offer him the highest standards of water ...
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1answer
38 views

Article 'a' or 'the' [closed]

Is it wrong to say "I work at a hospital" if I mean that I work in a specific hospital unknown to the person I am talking to? How is it different from the more common "I work at the hospital"?
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0answers
36 views

What is the purpose of emphasizing indefine article 'a'? [duplicate]

I often see and hear native speakers emphasizing word a, using intonation and /ei/ pronunciation. I understand what they say and I am able to properly (I guess) use it in my speech. But I wonder why ...
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0answers
12 views

What is the difference between This is a letter or this is the letter [duplicate]

Which is the correct one: This is a letter from my friend who lives in Paris or This is the letter from my friend who lives in Paris
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0answers
71 views

Article 'a' before the word starting from a vowel

I've always been thinking that in English we use 'an' before the words starting from a vowel, for example "an apple", "an attitude" and so on (except the rule about 'u' sound 'a university" and so on)....
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0answers
17 views

Two questions about using several “THE” in a single sentence [duplicate]

I have two questions about using "several THE" is a single sentence. Q1) Which one of THE following sentences are true (probably none of them)? a) THE value of maximum deflection based on THE ...
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4answers
163 views

What is the practice of dropping words from sentences? [duplicate]

Most instructions for equipment and software make a habit of shortening sentences by dropping words of certain parts of speech - usually definite and indefinite articles. For example: PULL (THE) ...
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1answer
76 views

Definite article with abstract nouns [duplicate]

Is there a way one can determine whether to use the definite article before an abstract noun? For example: little room for imagination such concepts as subjectivity and imagination the ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Why do definite articles seem implicit in English?

I was thinking about the translation for "life" (as in everyday living) in french which translates "vie". However, in spoken language you would always refer to "la vie" in french and never to "the ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Is it “give a credit for” or “give credit for”?

My first language does not have articles, and I am really struggling to understand why people sometimes use them and sometimes do not. I understand general rule that "the" means one specific thing and ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is the indefinite article used in “as a last resort”?

Someone asked me this question today and I didn't really know how to answer the question. When something is last, the definite article should precede it because there's only one last place.
0
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1answer
45 views

Using “the” before name equations/theory like “The Maxwell's Equation”, “The Archimedes Principle” etc

Is it correct to use "the" before name equations like "The Maxwell's Equation", "The Archimedes Principle", "The Kolmogorov Equation" etc. Even though "the" refers to the equation/principle, it ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Using Articles on Introducing a Person

While learning English, I often found myself embarrassed in the erratic usage of English articles. Would you mind if I ask a question about it? When we're introducing a person in an article, which ...
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2answers
96 views

A customer, customers or customer

Can anyone explain to me when to use 'a customer', 'customers' or 'customer'? For example, which of the following is the most appropriate? If customers have a problem, as a customer representative,...
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1answer
29 views

What is the correct use of ie as in 'that is' and how is it written, capitals or small and with a colon?

What is the correct use of ie as in 'that is' and how is it written, capitals or small and with or without a colon or semi colon? Thanks
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2answers
58 views

Why is the indefinite article used in: “like a challenge”

source: 60-Second Adventures in Thought (Open University) How could a humble tortoise beat the legendary Greek hero Achilles in a race? The Greek philosopher Zeno liked a challenge and came up ...
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1answer
39 views

Articles: “a” or “the” with “second assumption”?

I wonder if I have to use a, or the when I introduce two assumptions in an academic paper. For example, in an introduction section of an article it tells us that there are two assumptions that the ...
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2answers
92 views

Use of word “the” with “based on” and “noun + of + noun”

In the phrase: "based on the conversion process of modal distances", I understand that it is not necessary to use "the" after "based on", but also that it is usual to put "the" before the ...
4
votes
8answers
343 views

“Has a value of” vs. “has the value of”

The basic problem The following types of expressions are ubiquitous, especially (but not only) in scientific and technical literature; note the indefinite article in the construction "...has/with a ...
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0answers
38 views

Is it correct to use 'an' before subject 'organizational setting.'? [duplicate]

I get confused with these kind of sentences. Ex. an organizational setting, an environmental problem, an Indian citizen, an amorphous structure, etc.
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3answers
339 views

Why no determiner before either 'lunatic' or 'knight' in “He's more lunatic than he is knight”

In the Norton Critical Edition of Don Quijote, ably translated by Burton Raffel, there is a passage in which Sancho Panza is talking about the titular character and he says ...while I am thinking ...
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1answer
58 views

Why we say Happy New Year without an article “a”, but we say “I wish you a Happy New Year” using the article?

I was wondering if there is any rule in English that forbids us to say A Happy New Year when we wish someone Happy New Year? I know that we just say it like that, but I was trying to find the rule ...
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1answer
98 views

“In the beach” vs. “In beach” [closed]

What are the differences between the following sentences? If I wanted to talk about the beach in general, which would be more appropriate? I love playing in beaches I love playing in beach. ...
4
votes
3answers
163 views

the definite article with inventions [duplicate]

Do we always use the definite article with inventions? The paper and the gunpowder were invented in China. (an example from my student's book). Paper and gunpowder were invented in China. (I've seen ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Article in “A George Lukas film” and its absence in “John's brother” [duplicate]

I'm sure about the 1st sentence, since I always see it at the opening credits of almost every film (a somebody's film). But I'm not sure about the 2nd one, just it doesn't even look correct if I ...
0
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0answers
28 views

A more / the more [duplicate]

When we should use a more and when the more? Fred always says dogs make the best pets. But between his cat and his dog, his cat is the more loyal of the two. The book is called "A More ...
0
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1answer
76 views

Definite article and ranking adjectives

I'm trying to systematize the use of 'the' with ranking adjectives like 'next', 'following', 'third', etc. What I know is usually ranking adjective is used with the: I will pay the next time we ...
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1answer
120 views

“Bring to a boil” vs. “bring to the boil”

Which is grammatically correct? Are both valid? Is it perhaps regional? Bringing something to a boil. Bringing something to the boil. I've always heard and said it "a boil" until I heard the cooks ...
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1answer
44 views

(in)correct article

I would appreciate if someone could help me determine whether or not the article used in the sentence below is correct. CAPSLOCK = DOUBTS We use mobile phones every day, but very few of us wonder how ...
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2answers
58 views

Using “the” in certain situations if you haven't referred to the object before in a conversation

I have difficulties with using "the" in certain situations. For example, which one is correct? "I was lying on the couch the whole day" or "I was lying on couch the whole day"? More general ...
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3answers
242 views

Omission of the indefinite article to eliminate ambiguity

love between husband and wife What is the reason that there is no article (e.g. "love between a husband and a wife") in the above? Has some kind of a rule been identified grammatically when it comes ...
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0answers
18 views

Trends in the US or trends in US? [duplicate]

Which of these two sentences are correct: Space-time Trends in the U.S. Meteorological Droughts, or Space-time Trends in U.S. Meteorological Droughts I know before the country name U.S. I should ...
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0answers
33 views

Is the use of the indefinite article possible in the sentence context?

Is the use of the indefinite article below possible in this context? In the out-of-court settlement, the drug makers virtually admitted that they were responsible for the spread of a fatal ...
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1answer
305 views

My favourite animal is a dog, the dog or dog [duplicate]

I consider myself a pretty advanced English teacher and user. Nonetheless, I've recently found myself in a pretty difficult spot trying to explain which of the following sentences is correct: My ...
3
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1answer
47 views

Usage of Articles

I found this line on official Apple support page. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, hold down an app’s icon until all the icons begin to jiggle, then click an app’s delete button . Don't ...
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3answers
90 views

Using “a/an” twice describing “one person”

Is it grammatically correct to use an indefinite article "a" twice in the following sentence: Sean is a coward and a psychopath. There is a previous question about a definite article the, "Is it ...
0
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1answer
71 views

Why don't we say “in bathroom”? [closed]

As shown in this answer, English speakers will often drop the article when referring to using a place for its intended use. For example: He went to school/work/church/(also in BrE: hospital). ...
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1answer
50 views

Any article is required before [new] if following noun is singular?

When s is omitted from following line, New Kids On The Block Any article(definite/indefinite) is required? A New Kid On The Block
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5answers
298 views

What is the best adjective to describe a well received product (movie, book) [closed]

Often I read about "under-appreciated" books. Being an author myself, I am putting together my resume in English and I am unsure what word to use to describe a book that has had positive reviews and ...
0
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0answers
52 views

Are data structures countable or uncountable nouns?

For example what would be the correct answers to this article quiz? Why is nil/a/the priority queue implemented with nil/a/the heap ordered binary tree faster than nil/a/the sorted array ...
0
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2answers
102 views

What is the word/rule for nouns that don't require articles? [duplicate]

For instance, you can correctly say "I want bread." That isn't wrong the same way "I want phone" is wrong. This seems to apply to most foods, but I can't figure out what the rule is. I want fish. ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

The light's path or light's path? Can I use articles with apostrophes?

I've been told that "The Dirac's equation" is not grammatically acceptable. The correct should be "Dirac's equation" or "The Dirac equation". I'm wondering if this has something to do with Dirac ...
0
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1answer
54 views

Singular/plural article for genitive noun [duplicate]

When we have a sentence like I can identify with a company's products Does the plural form of the "a" depend on the "company's" or on the "products"? The latter would mean that it had to be a "...
1
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2answers
59 views

Is “A Spanish Learning Grammar” grammatical?

My friend and I are talking about his renewed interest in Spanish and he is using a book called "A Spanish Learning Grammar"? I assume this is grammatical since its the title of a published book on ...