Use this tag for questions about the usage of articles.

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3
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1answer
461 views

Lots of questions for a lot of clauses!

I am confused over the use of lots of vs lot of. I am phrasing a sentence having the following clause : [Article] [lot-of/lots-of] [noun singular/plural] [verb] ... As an example : A lot of ...
1
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1answer
114 views

What articles are needed in document titles?

There seems to be a general consensus that some articles can be omitted from movie, book or newspaper titles. Can this be generalised and applied to any document titles such as titles of technical ...
6
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2answers
263 views

Unorthodox article placement

In my English class yesterday we looked at the following example: Monica is such a beautiful woman. We learned that the above sentence could also be written as: Monica is so beautiful a ...
0
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2answers
157 views

“Between a mother and daughter” vs. “between a mother and a daughter”

What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences? The relationship between a mother and daughter. The relationship between a mother and a daughter. I know both are ...
0
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3answers
1k views

Which is right — “all the three” or “all three” in a situation of specific objects?

Let's imagine, I'm speaking about someone's three specific cars, which are over there, there, and there. Now I'm saying that I have installed a new sound system in all of them. Which is right: ...
9
votes
2answers
368 views

“There is X” vs “There is a/an X”

1: There is a reluctance on the part of European companies to buy from American sources. 2: There is an emphasis on the organic roots of spirituality. 3: There is a tendency to make the ...
-3
votes
1answer
262 views

Online checker for articles [closed]

I seem to have dropped most use of articles in my written English, however they seem to fall in correct(?) places in my spoken English. And as there are quite few of special cases when you would not ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Omitting article “the” in front of plural nouns

I'm helping someone learn English (second language), and I'm having trouble explaining when to use the and when not to. For example: Students learn better when teachers are passionate about ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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).
4
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10answers
971 views

Why is it ‘A God,’ not ‘God' in Mark Sanford’s “I want to acknowledge a God not just of second chances, but third, fourth, eighth chances”?

There was a quote of ex-South Carolina governor Mark Sanford in his victory speech in the House vacant seat election in the New York Times article (May 13) written by Gail Collins under the title ...
2
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0answers
61 views

articles in English [duplicate]

Most of the time I understand how to use articles, but when it comes to certain sentences I start to lose confidence. Could anyone please consider the following uses? In each case I am trying to ...
3
votes
3answers
532 views

Use of the definite article “the” before “church”

I was in a Teacher's selection for a school in my country, and one of the coordinators said that she heard a mistake from another teacher that was unacceptable. I tried to figure out why was that, but ...
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2answers
70 views

When modifiers precede, is ‘wounded’ used without ‘the’?

. . .she tended Hungarian wounded returning from the Russian front and casualties wounded in American bombing raids. (The Telegraph) When there are modifiers before 'wounded,' is it used ...
5
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Why use “the” for oceans/seas/rivers etc. but not lakes?

Possibly two questions in here: Are these sentence constructions logical, and if they are, why are they different? I swam across the Ocmulgee River. I swam across the Pacific Ocean. I swam ...
1
vote
2answers
350 views

The article: communicative function [closed]

Okay, this might come across as a fairly stupid question, yet I have to know this. Does anyone know what the communicative function of 'the article' is? For example, if we consider 'must' and 'have ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Is the English correct? What's the best translation or interpretation? [duplicate]

I'm reading a technical IT document that can be found here. So, the question is, in the phrasebelow: A challenge password is it correct write "a" instead of "an"? Why? What is its' best ...
1
vote
1answer
526 views

use of articles with personal names modified by adjectives

Suddenly, to everybody's surprise, the silent Mr.Smith swung around and addressed Barbara. The dinner was served by a silent Mrs. Keats. I saw an infuriated Jennifer, who started shouting at ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

articles when not to use [duplicate]

Which of the following sentences are correct? Although it lives in all oceans and most seas, it prefers temperate and polar regions. Although it lives in all oceans and most seas, it prefers the ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Using stressed “the” to emphasize outstanding noun

I'm not a native English speaker and sometimes I encounter article "the" used in stressed form before some noun or name, mostly in movies, like "That's not the gun, that's THE gun" or "He is THE ...
-1
votes
2answers
437 views

Must a non-proper noun that starts a sentence be preceded with an article?

I'm doing some research in NLP, and thought you guys would be the best to ask this. When looking at an English sentence, it is sometimes hard for a computer to distinguish between proper nouns, such ...
0
votes
2answers
131 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

Usage of the article 'a' before bait in this particular instance

Is it acceptable to use the article 'a' before 'bait' in this sentence? Is there a difference in meaning here when you use 'a' or drop it? "You would not have sent it to me for no reason. It was a ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

“He feared a U.S. invasion” vs. “He feared U.S. invasion”

It it accurate to say this? He feared a U.S. invasion. Or should I say, He feared U.S. invasion. I'm trying to figure out when to place "a" in front of the U.S. when U.S. comes with a noun ...
-1
votes
3answers
457 views

What article should be used in such sentences?

What article should be used in the following sentence? He was English by [a/the/] blood. I feel there should be a zero article here, but I was taught that the zero article is impossible in ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Article usage on word 'default' when the context is known

This question excludes 'default' used in court or 'a default' for an indefinite future (e.g. setting a default option). My question pertains to circumstances where the context behind the question or ...
9
votes
5answers
702 views

Do idioms pose an exception to normal definite and indefinite article usage?

I found this phrase in my biology textbook (emphasis added): ...in relation to Earth's history, 100,000 years or even a million years is the blink of an eye. The part of the phrase in question ...
3
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2answers
227 views

Correct placement of articles

My supervisor corrected the draft of my thesis, inserting a lot of articles here and there. I have doubts if he was correct. Could someone comment on the following sentences? Over the last decade ...
-2
votes
1answer
259 views

An Ozibox user OR a Ozibox user is correct? [duplicate]

Which one is better and why? 1) Are you an Ozibox user? 2) Are you a Ozibox user? Ozibox is the name of a web application
6
votes
3answers
3k views

“What kind of a person” vs. “what kind of person”

I often hear people saying what kind of [singular noun] rather than what kind of a [singular noun]. Are we not supposed to use an article (a) before noun?
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votes
2answers
270 views

Usage of “to” and “from” in my sentence

Is my sentence grammatically correct? I asked from the friend who took this picture, had you ever seen anything like this before? or should it be: I asked a friend who took this picture, ...
-2
votes
2answers
785 views

Correct usage of indefinite articles 'a' and 'an' infront of acronyms [duplicate]

I wonder what is the correct usage, my assumption is that it is based on how you pronounce it, like for example: an SQL query => pronounced an ess cue ell query , an XP OS => pronounced an ex pee oh ...
0
votes
1answer
289 views

Under which cases should an article (a/an/the) not be used? [duplicate]

The current machine has been repaired. Current machine has been repaired. Which is more natural? What are the subtle differences between them? Under which cases should an article ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Usage of “a” and “the” in titles

Which one should I use for page title? Apple — Tasty Fruit Apple — A Tasty Fruit Apple — The Tasty Fruit The article is only about tasty apple.
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votes
2answers
80 views

“the 1st” or “1st”

I'm wondering which is the right usage between "the 1st" and "1st" in these sentences: a) The United States ranked 1st in Bloomberg's Global Innovation Index. b) The United States ranked the 1st in ...
0
votes
1answer
330 views

Zero article after “of” in “a change of place”

Given the sentence The use of apples instead of pears is unexpected in the dish. I don't think we can use apple instead of apples. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) But then, how come we can say the ...
3
votes
0answers
263 views

Guide to English Articles [closed]

I'm looking for a full and complete guide to English articles like THE, A, AN, (none). Can anyone recommend me something like that? I'd like to finally learn this and never make a mistake again. ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Use (or non-use) of articles before abstract nouns

I know I have asked a similar question before but this time I have examples taken from COCA and they do puzzle me. I would love to hear explanations from native speakers. The following (incomplete) ...
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2answers
146 views

Why do prehistoric animals seem to lack articles?

Why do we say "this is a cat" or "this is a forty spotted pardalote" but "this is velociraptor" with no the or a?
-3
votes
1answer
2k views

The <noun> of <noun>

I wonder about the the <noun> of <noun> template. For example, the customers of a movie theater or the possessor of a car. The question is "Is it a stable rule in English to put "the" ...
2
votes
3answers
175 views

Choice of articles: the reduction/ a reduction /reduction

I am often confused about the use of articles before abstract nouns. Are the following three sentences all grammatically correct? If so, what differences are there, if any, in their meaning or nuance? ...
3
votes
2answers
262 views

Using articles before titles beginning with articles

What are the rules for the use of articles before titles beginning with articles? Which of the following sentences is correct? I went to the The New York Times office this morning. I went to The New ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

“Is there a best X?” — why “a” if it's the superlative degree?

Which of the following is grammatical? Is there a best school? Is there the best school? I'm sure that the first one is right. But why?
2
votes
3answers
277 views

“a” and “the” before time markers

For my linguistics course I was asked to explain the difference in meaning of the following: 1. I would like to have lunch with you on Friday 2. I would like to have lunch with you on a Friday ...
4
votes
5answers
139 views

Room Temperature: Article “A” or Not?

Below, “room temperature” takes the article “a” in one case but not the other. “Temperature” seems like a countable noun, so why no article in the first case? What is the grammar that is working here? ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

“During summer” vs. “during the summer”

What is the difference between saying "during summer" and "during the summer"? As in: I work during the summer. I work during summer. Are both common? Is my feeling correct that the ...
10
votes
4answers
916 views

Why did Obama use “a” in “… to hear a King proclaim that …”

From Obama's second inaugural speech: We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our ...
1
vote
1answer
691 views

Is “make no mistake” a mistake?

Is "make no mistake" proper grammar? Isn't "no" being used as a quantifier? Aren't quantified nouns supposed to be plural when the quantity is none? For example, I was taught to say, "one egg" and ...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

“This is a song by Lady Gaga” or “this is the song by Lady Gaga”? [closed]

Which article is appropriate in the blank below, a or the? — What are you singing? I've heard the song many times. — This is __ song by Lady Gaga.
1
vote
1answer
297 views

“Seems like an overkill” vs. “seems like overkill” [closed]

I’m wondering if an article is used with the word overkill: Something seems like an overkill (to me). Something seems like overkill (to me). Which is grammatical?