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

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4
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0answers
116 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
71 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
58 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
94 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
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1answer
88 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
66 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
78 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
212 views

What is the difference between “in ascending order” and “in an ascending order” [closed]

If "an" is required here? All records in the dataset are sorted in [an ?] ascending order, based on their distances to the hub node. If it matter or context sensitive, please let me know about the ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Necessity of “in” and “the”?

Please let me know which sentence is correct. I have faced the first and third one in the Longman dictionary, but dictionaries are prone to typos and errors. So I couldn't be sure which one is correct ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

the 2014-2015 academic year

Can someone advise on whether the definite article "the" is necessary in the following sentence? Though normally completed in one year on a full-time basis, allowances are made to extend that to ...
2
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2answers
658 views

Pronunciation of “the” before a long u sound

All my life I have been hearing and pronouncing /ði/(unstressed) in "the US", "the UK" and "the UN", but I'm not sure that was correct. How do you pronounce "the" before a long u sound? I searched ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

first prize, without “the”?

I saw a sentence today: Lily was speaking so excitedly and so fast about winning first prize in the Mark Six. WHy is "first prize" without the definite article "the"?
0
votes
1answer
862 views

“the next day” or “next day” [duplicate]

Cambridge Dictionaries Online has provided examples on the word "next". Why is "the" omitted in "What do you think you'll be doing this time next year?" while next day is preceded by "the" in ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Is “a person without desire” correct?

Can I use desire in its singular form without an article before it? That is, if I write "...so also a person without desire", will that be correct? or I'll have to use "..so also a person without any ...
0
votes
2answers
177 views

should articles be used after conjunction?

Which one is correct? He is an amateur and/or/but a hobbyist photographer. or He is an amateur and/or/but hobbyist photographer. I'm asking this as different articles are used before amateur and ...
0
votes
2answers
160 views

Conjoiners vs conjunctions vs articles

I've heard that conjoiners (in terms of grammar) are similar to articles. According to sources, articles can be words such as the, an, a, some (in unique cases). Conjunctions can be and, but, as well ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

How to use articles in parentheses?

Do I need to use an article for the option word in parentheses? If you want to create a new design of a handle (flag), the outer diameter of the casing can be changed in the place of possible ...
0
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1answer
81 views

Using determiners with articles

I was studying articles when I came across the following statement: There are other special modifiers called determiners or markers that may appear in front of a noun phrase. Do not use an article ...
0
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3answers
52 views

Which article do I use if I'm pointing out an object that both I and the listener know

For example: Upon seeing a cup on my colleague's desk, I say, "you have a very big cup." But the cup is already known to him (it's his and there is only one cup on his desk). Regardless, the above ...
1
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2answers
73 views

Use of “contretemps”

According to Oxford Dictionaries, contretemps means "an unexpected and unfortunate occurrence". What is the plural of it, if it exists, and how do I use it in a sentence? Do I say "contretemps ...
0
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3answers
140 views

(The/-) measles virus

I have some doubts when it comes to describing viruses causing infectious diseases. I have consulted a couple of very well-written medical reference books, where the authors consistently drop the ...
1
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3answers
281 views

Should I Say 'The' before a Place Name?

While talking about a city or a country, in some cases I have seen the article , but in most other cases, it is absent. For example, I have seen The NYC The US The UK but never The London or ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Article usage with the word Inspiration, and similar

I'm trying to explain to someone why there's no article in this sentence: I'm always looking for inspiration What is the rule that applies here? And is there a recorded set of similar words that ...
0
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1answer
90 views

Use of the “the” article [duplicate]

Can anyone explain why we use the definite article the for the following: The upper classes often go fox hunting. but People in High society often go fox hunting.
0
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2answers
44 views

Nominalizations and the missing “the”

This guide equips you with a strategy to ease adoption of a new technology within your organization. Assume that I want to keep this noun (adoption). Is the article "the" missing here? Should it be ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Usage of the article 'the' in the phrase Internet of Things

I am writing a paper on the topic, Internet of Things as a part of my curriculum. I couldn't help but wonder as to why every article, conference paper and journal publication refers to it as "The ...
1
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1answer
103 views

Slogan for a drapes manufacturer, which is correct? “Dressing the perfection” or “Dressing Perfection”?

I work at a factory that manufactures drapes and window treatments, and we hired a marketing team to revamp our corporate identity. The slogan they came up with is: "Dressing the Perfection" To me ...
1
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1answer
32 views

Which article do I use for a “concept” that introduces the actual thing

Which article do I use for something that has't yet been made or introduced. For example, consider a new website being built and the designer tells me, "We need to create an/the author's page for the ...
0
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2answers
81 views

How specific does a noun have to be to have “the”

Consider these two sentences: Houses are expensive in that neighbourhood. ― All houses are expensive in that neighbourhood. The Houses are expensive in that neighbourhood. ― Not all houses are ...
0
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1answer
62 views

A question of articles!

There are 2 citations related to the question. Bankruptcy of a corporation does not in itself cause dissolution. A partnership may be dissolved by agreement of the parties. I reckon, in ...
-1
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2answers
45 views

Articles again (hopefully not a basic question :-) [closed]

I am writing an email to a colleague, not a close friend. And I want to let him know about my online availability: "Tomorrow at 11AM I will shutdown my laptop and will start heading for ... airport". ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

usage of indefinite articles

I am writing a title and I was wondering whether I can skip the second article just like you would say a pen and pencil. Can I say, "A cap and tie for Zed," or must it still be "A cap and a tie for ...
0
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1answer
65 views

The Sam I used to know doesn't exist anymore

Is the use of the article "the" correct in this case? Why?
2
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5answers
169 views

Is “he was leader” right?

French surgeon Ambroise Paré (c.1510–1590) is considered one of the fathers of surgery; he was leader in surgical techniques and battlefield medicine, especially the treatment of wounds. This ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Why no article with “service” and “access”

Simple question, which I'd like a simple (simple enough to explain to an ESL student) answer to.* Is there a conference room? Is there a non-smoking room? Okay, so I have no problems with ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Use of article before Strength [duplicate]

I know strength is a noun. So in some sentences article is used and in some sentences, an article is not used before Strength. Example I was impressed by his strength. She's doing exercises to build ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do we say “Present Arms” instead of “Present Your Arms”?

There is a military command to Present Arms. And, depending upon the military and the situation, the typical response is to either salute or hold one's weapon in front of them in the prescribed ...
0
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1answer
83 views

Differences in meaning between phrases with and without indefinite article

Could you please help me by clarifying the meaning of the two phrases below: a profound analysis of the problem profound analysis of the problem Here's the context: I want to convey ...
-1
votes
1answer
59 views

Which of the below is correct? [closed]

We were given a question like: Use an article to fill in the blank: 1.Man is _______ creation of God. Options were a) a b) the After blasting my mind off, i guessed the answer to be a ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

What happens to articles in phrases “a bit <adjective> <noun>”?

Consider the phrase "I'm doing this for a bit different reason." The grouping here is "((a bit) different) reason" and not "a ((bit different) reason)", so the noun "reason" lacks an article. Does ...
4
votes
4answers
254 views

Is there a rule concerning nouns with foreign articles?

I'd like to know if there is a rule concerning the usage of "the" preceding nouns already including a foreign article. For instance, should a restaurant called "La trattoria" be referred to simply as ...
-1
votes
3answers
921 views

Articles and prepositions in a series

I am writing a technical report. After finishing the first draft, I asked my friends, who are native English speakers, to proofread my writing. They found and corrected several errors in my report. ...
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0answers
66 views

AE vs British English usage of hospital [duplicate]

We all know that Americans say: Sara is going to the hospital While in the UK, they would say (and Americans would never say): Sara is going to hospital I'm wondering what the history of ...
2
votes
2answers
474 views

the definite article in front of a noun that is followed by a defining clause [duplicate]

When we want to refer to a specific noun, we use the definite article 'the'. When the noun is followed by a defining clause, again we use the defining article 'the'. My question is why the following ...
1
vote
2answers
318 views

Definite/indefinite articles in front of trade names that are used as attributive adjectives

Every time I have to refer to some products, I am not sure what article (if any) has to be used. For example, there is a company called Contigo, which makes termo cups. In order to refer to those ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

Article “the” with relative clauses [duplicate]

I am not confident about my judgement as to whether or not "the" is required if a relative clause is used in a sentence. For example, The data can be collected on all the computers on which the ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

“the oxygen concentration” OR “oxygen concentration”

SITUATION: I've carried out a thorough chemical analysis of Thing X. It underwent heating, cooling, bending - you name it. In conclusion, should I say: "No increase in the oxygen concentration ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Do I use the article “the” before the name of a specific database in a sentence?

When you name a specific database, do you use the before it? I'm helping a friend translate from Japanese into English, and she's referring to a database such as Earthquakes database, the actual name ...