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

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3
votes
2answers
92 views

Do I need an article here?

Which of the phrases is correct and why? "This document assumes a general familiarity with ..." or "This document assumes general familiarity with ..." Google search gives me approximately equal ...
-3
votes
1answer
116 views

Article in a phrase [closed]

I saw a phrase on the curb. Literally: "NO DUMPING. FLOWS TO BAY". Why there is no article before "bay"? Bay is countable, and I think article should be there. Or it may be Bay? (The curb situated in ...
0
votes
1answer
273 views

Who is “the superficial man”?

She possesses many other qualities prized by the superficial man. My understanding is—whoever says it, doesn't refer to himself by the superficial man. The superficial man is some ...
0
votes
1answer
753 views

Does every countable noun have to be preceded by an article?

The usage of articles is a little tricky for me. My question is do we have to add an article to every singular countable noun? For example: License is the credential for using various value-added ...
2
votes
2answers
229 views

use of article before the word onset?

It happened due to 'an' early onset of the monsoon or it happened due to early onset of the monsoon. Are both correct? Is one wrong? and if anyone know what's the rule. I did a google search, and I ...
3
votes
2answers
329 views

Can the definite article be omitted when referring to a person qualified by a noun?

Is there a difference between these references to a specific person: "The implication is clear: as the psychologist Jonathan Haidt said..." and "The implication is clear: as psychologist ...
2
votes
1answer
856 views

a part vs. part [duplicate]

part (mass noun) is close to "some", it means some but not all thing. a part (countable) is a separate piece of something that you can combine with other pieces. It has been always a problem for me ...
3
votes
1answer
688 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
vote
2answers
205 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
290 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
votes
3answers
2k 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: ...
-5
votes
6answers
1k views

Have there been any movements/tendencies to remove definite and indefinite articles from English in the recent history of English?

My question is if there were some "movements" that propose to remove definite and indefinite articles completely in the last 100 or 200 years (or even more older). E.g. "a book" will be just "book" ...
-3
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
381 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
220 views

The meaning of “the” in a standalone “the greater”

Often I read that "X's quality Y was the greater by virtue of Z", which makes perfect sense as a result of me being used to this form of expression, but not when I am now trying to understand what is ...
5
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
70 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 ...
4
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
3
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
76 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
484 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
45 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
919 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
72 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
votes
2answers
576 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
104 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
vote
1answer
323 views

Zero article in a concessive adverbial clause

Which of the following two expressions is better? A doctor by training as he is, he has proved himself to be a successful writer. Doctor by training as he is, he has proved himself to be a ...
0
votes
2answers
127 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
146 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Difference between “an” and “one”

Forgive me if I miss something very obvious; English is not my native language. I am currently taking an online (sort of) Math class that aims to teach creating/writing unambiguous Mathematical ...
2
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
320 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
0
votes
4answers
241 views

Why “the ipad” and not simply ipad [duplicate]

From what I've learned, special names don't get definite articles. (I should admit that the use of articles in English is very tricky) For example, we say Apple but not the Apple to refer to the ...
-1
votes
2answers
643 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
400 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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.
-2
votes
2answers
82 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
264 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
14k views

Is it “a user” or “an user” [duplicate]

Since user starts with a vowel shouldn't we use "an" ? I've seen many cases of using "a" .
0
votes
1answer
470 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
389 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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) ...
1
vote
2answers
163 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?
4
votes
4answers
629 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
196 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
355 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
382 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
184 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? ...
0
votes
1answer
103 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?
10
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...