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

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67
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10answers
4k views

“A/An” preceding a parenthetical statement

When a/an precedes a parenthetical aside (sometimes seen in informal/conversational writing), should the vowel rule depend on the first word in parentheses, or the next word in the "regular" flow of ...
0
votes
1answer
88 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.
115
votes
7answers
50k views

Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms?

99% of the time, I'm clear on when I should use "a" versus "an." There's one case, though, where people & references I respect disagree. Which of the following would you precede with "a" or "an," ...
0
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
291 views

“I have got a Playstation” versus “I have got Playstation”

Is it possible to avoid using the article in the following sentence: I have got a Playstation.
4
votes
4answers
245 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Use of “them” as an article, not a pronoun

I've seen a lot of times the pronoun them used like an article. For example, in the title of the Delta Rhythm Boys Them bones, or in the first sentence of "Money for nothing": Now look at them ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
89 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
2answers
44 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
40 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
533 views

Why is it “A first,” not “The first” for U.S Ice Dancing team taking the top spot in Sochi”?

I heard that the announcer, Tim McGuire reported that; “A first for U.S. Ice Dancing team, Gold. Meryl Davis, Charlie White taking the top spot in Sochi.” in February 17 AP Radio News. I also ...
0
votes
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
votes
5answers
166 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
53 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
46 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
81 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
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
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
232 views

Why is there no article in “The Child is father of the man”?

The Rainbow by William Wordsworth: My heart leaps up when I behold A Rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me ...
3
votes
2answers
89 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
869 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
444 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
411 views

“Saying/doing it from your heart” vs. “Saying/doing it from heart”

What is the difference between the following two? They didn't play the game from their heart. They didn't play the game from heart. Or You didn't say that from your heart You ...
11
votes
4answers
27k views
1
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2answers
294 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
2answers
66 views

“Without selection” vs. “without a selection”

W is the complex-valued transformation of the original signals x and y without selection of the window length with respect to time t. W is the complex-valued transformation of the original ...
1
vote
2answers
90 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

“The Hypercube algorithm is so …” or “Hypercube algorithm is so…”? [duplicate]

I have an algorithm inspired by mathematical concept called hypercube. I use Hypercube algorithm as a name. Now when I write about it, do I need "the" article in front of the name "Hypercube ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

index, an index or the index?

Context: Imagine a sequence of indices greater than 1. The sequence must follow these rules: 1.) Index 2 cannot be surrounded by two indices 3. ... (I know this may be written in much more simple ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Why do we say “What do you do for a living”?

What does "a" (the indefinite article) imply in this context?
0
votes
4answers
68 views

Use of “the” before a defined entity?

Should we write: "x is an element of vector X" or "x is an element of the vector X"? I have always been taught to use the former formulation, but now am asked to use the latter. Am confused. Any ...
0
votes
4answers
79 views

Is my use of “the” in this example correct?

I encountered many rules and even this article here on StackExchange. However, this is not about going to "college" or "the college", I think it more difficult. I wrote: "Bad recommendations ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

City names with articles

Typically we don't use articles with city names, e.g. "Seattle" and not "the Seattle." I know at least one exception though which is The Hague. Are there any other city names which we use with the ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Articles before word zero [duplicate]

"a zero magnetization" or "the zero magnetization" or "zero magnetization"? "a zero magnetic field" or "the zero magnetic field" or "zero magnetic field"? Are there any specific rules for articles ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

Do you know the reason why we must use the article a instead of the in the following? [duplicate]

A human ear responds to a wide range of frequencies. My teacher already has said me, when you are speaking about a part of your body that it belongs to it- it is not artificial et cetera- you ...
3
votes
4answers
29k views

Is saying “I had a fever” correct?

I'm sure this might have been asked, but couldn't find it, so forgive me if it is a duplicate. Is saying "I had a fever" correct ? I've also heard people saying "I had fever", but don't ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is there a definite article before “Hague”? [duplicate]

Teaching definite and indefinite articles to Slavic students is very challenging because they don't have articles in their native languages. For instance, I have quite a few students who use "the" ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Definite article in a list

Would it be necessary to use any definite articles in this list? There were many alternative theatres in London: Hackney Empire, Almeida, Half Moon, and King's Head.
0
votes
2answers
36 views

“the” before or after “all”

Which one is more correct, if everybody knows that I am talking about all the students in a specific classroom. assignments must be done by all the students assignments must be done by all ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

“the son of a barkeep is speaker of the House”

The Wasington Post quotes Obama as saying: "Here in America, our success should not depend on an accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams. That's what drew ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

“not found” or “is not found”

Why there is file not found access denied and so on everywhere, when it should be (as far as I know) the file was not found the access is denied I wonder which is actually ...
0
votes
2answers
379 views

Is it “a hour-long drive” or “an hour-long drive”? [duplicate]

In the following context, which usage is correct, or are both of them OK? After a hour-long drive, they arrived at Chinatown. After an hour-long drive, they arrived at Chinatown. Your help is ...
2
votes
4answers
901 views

“What a beautiful day” or “what the beautiful day”? And exactly why?

Although we know that day which we are talking about, why don't we say "What the beautiful day!" instead of "What a beautiful day!" ? In addition, a friend of mine have already said the following, ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

“in case of” + “respectively”

I would like to write something like: In cases of the A and B models, the run-time analysis of the algorithm is shown in Figures X and Y, respectively. I mean: A model -> Fig X B model ...
1
vote
2answers
156 views

Should an article be used for the word “war”?

I’ve been reading much about the US poverty war recently. Some people say: He declared the war on poverty fifty years ago. But others say: He declared war on poverty fifty years ago. ...
0
votes
1answer
335 views

What part of speech are articles before possessive adjectives?

Today I was diagramming a sentence when I noticed something that confused me. I had a sentence that was basically like this: A parent's greatest concern is rearing his children correctly. ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Dropping articles in the title (of an article or a section) or in the caption (of a figure or a table)? What's the general rule?

It is said that "To give added punch, articles are often dropped in the titles" Source: http://www.davidappleyard.com/english/articles.htm Is there any general rule or reference about dropping ...