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

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1answer
251 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?
2
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2answers
100 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
331 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 ...
2
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1answer
167 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
36
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8answers
5k views

Why is there no plural indefinite article?

The takes either a singular or a plural subject. A/an only takes the singular. When we pluralize a noun preceded by an indefinite article, we simply drop the article (sometimes replacing it with ...
0
votes
1answer
137 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
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
0
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0answers
54 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
158 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
103 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. ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Using “the” before ordinal numbers

When learning English I was told that ordinal numbers should always be used with "the" before them. But I often see that this is not always so strict, for example I heard the phrase "April first" ...
4
votes
4answers
783 views

“Most” vs. “most of”

During most of history, humans were too busy to think about thought. Why is "most of history" correct in the above sentence? I could understand the difference between "Most of the people" and ...
6
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3answers
3k views

Difference between 'all' and 'all the'

I came across people using all the in sentences instead of all. Select the type of user to view all the users of that type. All the users of the selected role are displayed. I usually strike ...
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votes
1answer
56 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 ...
-1
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2answers
126 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
534 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.
0
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1answer
99 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
90 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
65 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
votes
2answers
175 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." ...
1
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1answer
49 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 ...
0
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4answers
207 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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1answer
166 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
239 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 ...
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votes
1answer
63 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
129 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
2answers
304 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
42 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
877 views

Omission of “the” in “elected him president” and “made captain”

Why is there no the before president and captain? They elected him president. She was made captain of the team.
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 ...
1
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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 ...
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
85 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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2answers
296 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 ...
0
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1answer
565 views

usage of articles: definite article or zero article? [duplicate]

the Chinese invented the paper the Chinese invented paper I can't decide which article we get before paper — zero article or the. Are we talking about paper in general (so zero ...
4
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3answers
2k 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 ...
6
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2answers
4k 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" ...
2
votes
2answers
70 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
198 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 ...
0
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5answers
959 views

“I'm Spanish” or “I'm a Spanish”?

Which one is correct? I am quite sure about "I'm Spanish", but is it wrong if I add an "a" before "Spanish"?
3
votes
2answers
90 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
votes
0answers
144 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
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
5
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5answers
3k 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"?
1
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1answer
76 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
63 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 ...
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6answers
4k 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 ...