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

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24 views

Please help me have an explanation to this quote

I've been reading the book Night by Elie Wiesel, but I'm confused by this quote: The days were like nights, and the nights left the dregs of their darkness in our souls. Any help explaining ...
-1
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0answers
25 views

Countable singular nouns not preceded by any articles in some circumstances, What could be the reasons?

Occasionally, It can be noticed that even countable singular nouns are not preceded by any articles, especially for book or article titles or song names, What could be the reason for writers to ignore ...
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0answers
12 views

What is the difference between This is a letter or this is the letter [duplicate]

Which is the correct one: This is a letter from my friend who lives in Paris or This is the letter from my friend who lives in Paris
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1answer
52 views

What is the word/rule for nouns that don't require articles?

For instance, you can correctly say "I want bread." That isn't wrong the same way "I want phone" is wrong. This seems to apply to most foods, but I can't figure out what the rule is. I want fish. ...
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0answers
16 views

Two questions about using several “THE” in a single sentence [duplicate]

I have two questions about using "several THE" is a single sentence. Q1) Which one of THE following sentences are true (probably none of them)? a) THE value of maximum deflection based on THE ...
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0answers
54 views

Article 'a' before the word starting from a vowel

I've always been thinking that in English we use 'an' before the words starting from a vowel, for example "an apple", "an attitude" and so on (except the rule about 'u' sound 'a university" and so ...
54
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8answers
32k 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 ...
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4answers
125 views

What is the practice of dropping words from sentences? [duplicate]

Most instructions for equipment and software make a habit of shortening sentences by dropping words of certain parts of speech - usually definite and indefinite articles. For example: PULL (THE) ...
2
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3answers
795 views

What is the difference between 'in the bed' and 'in bed'?

I really don't know the detail meaning between 'in the bed' and 'in bed' I think that generally 'countable noun' has 'article' like 'a/an' or 'the' But I can find the sentence like 'I usually read ...
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0answers
14 views

Articles before possession clause (smb's) [migrated]

To express meanings “The car of Tom” and “One of the cars of Tom”, which articles do I put before “Tom’s car”? And in general, which word an article before smb’s smth belongs to? Is it smb or smth?
4
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5answers
167 views

“Has a value of” vs. “has the value of”

The basic problem The following types of expressions are ubiquitous, especially (but not only) in scientific and technical literature; note the indefinite article in the construction "...has/with a ...
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1answer
41 views

Definite article and ranking adjectives

I'm trying to systematize the use of 'the' with ranking adjectives like 'next', 'following', 'third', etc. What I know is usually ranking adjective is used with the: I will pay the next time we ...
4
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1answer
73 views

Why do definite articles seem implicit in English?

I was thinking about the translation for "life" (as in everyday living) in french which translates "vie". However, in spoken language you would always refer to "la vie" in french and never to "the ...
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1answer
51 views

Definite article with abstract nouns [duplicate]

Is there a way one can determine whether to use the definite article before an abstract noun? For example: little room for imagination such concepts as subjectivity and imagination the ...
9
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3answers
209 views

Omission of the indefinite article to eliminate ambiguity

love between husband and wife What is the reason that there is no article (e.g. "love between a husband and a wife") in the above? Has some kind of a rule been identified grammatically when it ...
1
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1answer
45 views

agreeing articles and the noun in enumeration

I'm writing a technical paper, where I discuss the behavior of contacts between two slightly different materials. What is the correct way to write it: A contact between a green and a red balls A ...
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0answers
29 views

Article: countable nounmin [migrated]

My elder child name is Julie. Jule is nice, charming and naughty girl. My question is as girl is countable noun but i have not written any article and i try to use girl as a mass noun. Is above ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Is it “give a credit for” or “give credit for”?

My first language does not have articles, and I am really struggling to understand why people sometimes use them and sometimes do not. I understand general rule that "the" means one specific thing and ...
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4answers
1k views

Why is the indefinite article used in “as a last resort”?

Someone asked me this question today and I didn't really know how to answer the question. When something is last, the definite article should precede it because there's only one last place.
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1answer
29 views

Using “the” before name equations/theory like “The Maxwell's Equation”, “The Archimedes Principle” etc

Is it correct to use "the" before name equations like "The Maxwell's Equation", "The Archimedes Principle", "The Kolmogorov Equation" etc. Even though "the" refers to the equation/principle, it ...
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2answers
58 views

Use of word “the” with “based on” and “noun + of + noun”

In the phrase: "based on the conversion process of modal distances", I understand that it is not necessary to use "the" after "based on", but also that it is usual to put "the" before the ...
0
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1answer
29 views

Using Articles on Introducing a Person

While learning English, I often found myself embarrassed in the erratic usage of English articles. Would you mind if I ask a question about it? When we're introducing a person in an article, which ...
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1answer
42 views

A customer, customers or customer

Can anyone explain to me when to use 'a customer', 'customers' or 'customer'? For example, which of the following is the most appropriate? If customers have a problem, as a customer ...
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1answer
25 views

What is the correct use of ie as in 'that is' and how is it written, capitals or small and with a colon?

What is the correct use of ie as in 'that is' and how is it written, capitals or small and with or without a colon or semi colon? Thanks
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0answers
25 views

articles::question [migrated]

On sundays he makes pizza. Sometime he fries chicken or fixes Chinese food. My mother watches and helps. She cuts the vegetables. She tosses the salad. Please explain why there is no article before ...
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2answers
46 views

Why is the indefinite article used in: “like a challenge”

source: 60-Second Adventures in Thought (Open University) How could a humble tortoise beat the legendary Greek hero Achilles in a race? The Greek philosopher Zeno liked a challenge and came up ...
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1answer
34 views

Articles: “a” or “the” with “second assumption”?

I wonder if I have to use a, or the when I introduce two assumptions in an academic paper. For example, in an introduction section of an article it tells us that there are two assumptions that the ...
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8answers
14k views

Are there any simple rules for choosing the definite vs. indefinite (vs. none) article?

I can’t for the life of me figure out where to use a and where to use the — and where there is no article at all. Is there a simple rule of thumb to memorize? The standard rule you always hear: ...
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1answer
39 views

How to put articles to one adjective with multiple nouns

Suppose that there is a black cup, a black book and a black mouse. How should I put (an) indefinite article(s) to call all of them, while using an adjective black only once? A black cup, book and ...
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0answers
28 views

The definite article “the” and known information [migrated]

As one of the rules of article usage, "the" is put before a noun or a noun phrase to indicate information known to the writer and the reader, so is "the" necessary to indicate old information or is it ...
0
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1answer
77 views

How do I know which article to use before a noun specified by a relative clause?

How can I explain the usage of the indefinite article in the following sentences? Thanksgiving is a day when we celebrate the harvest. New Year' Eve is a night when I have fun with my ...
0
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1answer
28 views

What's the difference between using the/a/(nothing) in this sentence?

What's the difference between using the/a/(nothing) in this sentence? What's the difference between definite and indefinite article? What about not using them at all - would it be still correct? ...
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0answers
23 views

'An FBI agent' or 'A FBI agent' [duplicate]

Whats the correct article rule for acronyms that start with M (em) or F (ef)? Since they all start with the sound of a vowel, should they be preceded by an 'an'? I find mixed usages on the internet.
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2answers
122 views

Usage of an article in front of the structure “adjective + non countable noun.”

They blamed the accident on shoddy construction. They blamed the accident on a shoddy construction. - Are both of these two sentences correct? I think the usage of an article could be ...
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1answer
92 views

Non-use of Determiners

I have reviewed several related posts here but am still quite confused with the use of determiners. Say, in this sentence - "They reviewed the forms again to ensure completeness and accuracy." What ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Article: brain and bowel/ the brain and bowel/ the brain and the bowel

I'm a learner of English working on a translation. Which option is the best for completing the sentence below and why? It’s been known for a long time that human homeostasis is controlled by two main ...
3
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2answers
66 views

Using “the” or “a” for an item already mentioned

I was reading a topic article in a English grammar book. In an explanation, the following guideline was mentioned: Use the to refer something that has already been mentioned. While I was ...
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3answers
5k 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: ...
10
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3answers
325 views

Why no determiner before either 'lunatic' or 'knight' in “He's more lunatic than he is knight”

In the Norton Critical Edition of Don Quijote, ably translated by Burton Raffel, there is a passage in which Sancho Panza is talking about the titular character and he says ...while I am thinking ...
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0answers
36 views

Is it correct to use 'an' before subject 'organizational setting.'? [duplicate]

I get confused with these kind of sentences. Ex. an organizational setting, an environmental problem, an Indian citizen, an amorphous structure, etc.
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1answer
71 views

“In the beach” vs. “In beach” [closed]

What are the differences between the following sentences? If I wanted to talk about the beach in general, which would be more appropriate? I love playing in beaches I love playing in beach. ...
1
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1answer
38 views

Why we say Happy New Year without an article “a”, but we say “I wish you a Happy New Year” using the article?

I was wondering if there is any rule in English that forbids us to say A Happy New Year when we wish someone Happy New Year? I know that we just say it like that, but I was trying to find the rule ...
18
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1answer
4k views

Was “an unicorn” ever correct?

According to Biblehub and Bible Gateway, King James's Numbers 23:22 says: God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. I don't have a hard copy to check. Is that ...
4
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3answers
68 views

the definite article with inventions [duplicate]

Do we always use the definite article with inventions? The paper and the gunpowder were invented in China. (an example from my student's book). Paper and gunpowder were invented in China. (I've seen ...
1
vote
2answers
514 views

Use of the indefinite article before a day of the week

Can we use the indefinite article before the name of a day of the week? I was born on a Sunday. Or I was born on Sunday. Which one is more suitable and correct?
0
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1answer
19 views

Article in “A George Lukas film” and its absence in “John's brother” [duplicate]

I'm sure about the 1st sentence, since I always see it at the opening credits of almost every film (a somebody's film). But I'm not sure about the 2nd one, just it doesn't even look correct if I ...
10
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5answers
703 views

articles with the possessive nouns in the plural

Is there a definite rule about the use of articles with the possessive nouns in the plural? One rule says that the article in such a phrase modifies the possessive noun. So, it is correct to say ...
0
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0answers
28 views

A more / the more [duplicate]

When we should use a more and when the more? Fred always says dogs make the best pets. But between his cat and his dog, his cat is the more loyal of the two. The book is called "A More ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

“Bring to a boil” vs. “bring to the boil”

Which is grammatically correct? Are both valid? Is it perhaps regional? Bringing something to a boil. Bringing something to the boil. I've always heard and said it "a boil" until I heard the cooks ...
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1answer
43 views

(in)correct article

I would appreciate if someone could help me determine whether or not the article used in the sentence below is correct. CAPSLOCK = DOUBTS We use mobile phones every day, but very few of us wonder how ...