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

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-1
votes
1answer
149 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
223 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
57 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
124 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 ...
2
votes
7answers
4k views

How do American English and British English use the definite article differently?

I decided to make sure that I know this important difference between American and British English, so I wrote what I have found out so far and I would be grateful to anyone who reads this and tells me ...
3
votes
2answers
301 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
41 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
867 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
votes
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
vote
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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
2answers
268 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
votes
1answer
547 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
votes
3answers
1k 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
votes
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
69 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
votes
2answers
180 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
votes
5answers
890 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
89 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
137 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
votes
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
vote
1answer
74 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
47 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
votes
2answers
121 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
19k views

Is it “a uniform” or “an uniform”? [duplicate]

On a Physics specification, it says: 6.7 Know how to use two permanent magnets to produce a uniform magnetic field pattern. Isn't it "produce an uniform magnetic field", or is the existing ...
0
votes
1answer
91 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
votes
1answer
72 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
vote
1answer
81 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
vote
2answers
88 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
151 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
vote
1answer
299 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
59 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

New Oxford American Dictionary describes “the” as an adjective

When I look at the definition given from the Mac OS X Dictionary (I have set American English as interface language, and the dictionary used is then the New Oxford American Dictionary), I read: ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Correct pronunciation of “the” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles? What is the pronunciation of “the?” What would be the correct way to ...
3
votes
2answers
102 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"?
1
vote
1answer
1k 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
4answers
726 views

Do we have to use any article before job title?

If I have to introduce myself within the organization where I am working what is the correct sentence: I am Senior IT Engineer Or I am a Senior IT Engineer? Also what is the general rule to ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Use of definite article before phrases like Heathrow Airport, Hyde Park, Waterloo Station, Edgware Road and Parliament Square

In this related question (Definite article with proper nouns, titles followed by a common noun), the OP asks if it is grammatical to use the definite article before phrases like Advanced programming ...
49
votes
8answers
21k views

Is there a reason the British omit the article when they “go to hospital”?

Why do British speakers omit the article in constructions like "go to hospital" or "go on holiday"? Pretty much all American speakers would rephrase those as "go to the hospital" and "go on a ...
0
votes
2answers
42 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
228 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
202 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
49 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
votes
1answer
89 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
votes
3answers
54 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
vote
2answers
79 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 ...