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

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6
votes
5answers
638 views

Why is this sentence: “Additional nine features were added…” incorrect?

I am trying to explain to a colleague why the sentence: Additional nine features were added to the dig is incorrect. I have said you can say "An additional nine features...", "Nine additional ...
32
votes
7answers
9k 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: ...
1
vote
1answer
170 views

Is “in an utter attempt” correct?

I think I have heard, and I think to understand, the phrase "in an utter attempt". I want to say something like "In an utter attempt for brevity, I will summarize each chapter in one sentence". Is ...
2
votes
4answers
359 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
120 views

“cross this line” versus “cross the line”

This is written on a railroad platform: Is the English text OK? Or "cross the line" is better? Or both are equally correct?
65
votes
13answers
19k views

When should I use “a” vs “an”?

In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...
-1
votes
0answers
17 views

Which one is correct? Should we use A or AN [duplicate]

He is a emotional guy. or He is an emotional guy. Can we use AN before adjective?
0
votes
2answers
71 views

known as (a, the) - which article to pick?

A quote from the Economist: Part of this naturalistic approach is that the transistors in his systems often operate in what is known technically as the “sub-threshold domain”. May we use a ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Which article to choose in this situation?

On our company's website there's a list of projects. One of them can be chosen by clicking on the button Choose the project. In my opinion there should be a instead of the, because we are not pointing ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

No article with plural - possible meanings

Please, tell me the meaning of the sentence: "There are books on my table. Books on my table are good." Does it mean: 1) All the books that are now on my table are good? 2) All the books I put on ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

What is the difference between using “the” and not using it in the following sentences?

What is the difference in meaning? "habitual physical activity has a positive influence on circulation of blood." "habitual physical activity has a positive influence on the circulation of blood."
0
votes
3answers
43 views

The + adjective + proper name

I recently noticed that the honorific "The Honorable" is often followed by just a name ("The Honorable James Lloyd") rather than a noun ("The Honorable Judge James Lloyd"). That seemed fairly ...
2
votes
4answers
15k views

“Simple is best” vs “Simple is the best”

As a foreigner, using articles is one of the most difficult part. What is the difference between "Simple is best" and "Simple is the best"? When I googled it, both appeared with many results, so it ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Generic Articles [duplicate]

I have a question about articles. I already know that there are three ways to express, with articles, generic meaning: (1) the + singular countable noun, (2) a/an + singular countable noun, and (3) ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Do I use “the” or “a”? How do I decide which article to use? [duplicate]

Do I need to put "the" in front of correlation and negative? We performed a correlation analysis to measure a correlation between job satisfaction and the shortage of nursing. We found that a ...
1
vote
1answer
21 views

“An X or a Y” vs. “An X or Y”

You can create a web site or an application with your bare hands. or You can create a web site or application with your bare hands. ? Also, same for the definite article?
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What is the difference in meaning between the sentences? [duplicate]

"She works in the paper business." "She works in paper business."
2
votes
2answers
42 views

the function of “the” in the following sentence.

The following sentence is from NY Times. "Another corporate structure being exploited now more than ever is the master limited partnership." In the sentence, the concept of "master limited ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
908 views

Why isn't a definite article used before “a labyrinth”?

The following is from NY Times. "The decline is the result of the rise of untraditional business structure, the effects of a more globalized economy, and a labyrinth of subsidies and tax ...
1
vote
4answers
79 views

About the definite and zero article meaning generic concepts

I have been having a trouble with the idea of the definite article meaning generic concepts. Recently, I came upon a question asking which one is correct between " The Chines invented the paper" and ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

The definite article implying the generic idea of something

I know that the definite article "the" can be used to mean a generic idea of something as in "the lion is the king of the animals." In this sentence, the in "the lion" is used to imply the general ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

With passion for … or with a passion for

I am looking at the following sentence and can not understand whether I have to use a or not. I am a ... with [a] passion for ... . From my point of view passion is a noun and therefore it should ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Boris Group or 'the' Boris Group? Is article omission an error?

From a native speaker standpoint, would it look OK if a company whose name follows the "X Group" pattern omits the use of the definite article when presenting itself on its website, like this (name ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Indefinite articles and ordinals [closed]

I was told that when ordinals are used (e.g., first, second, third), the noun they modify should use the definite article "the" (e.g., "the second phenomenon", "the first study on physics"). Are there ...
1
vote
1answer
91 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
votes
2answers
80 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
42 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Can I use indefinite article with superlative adjectives?

In most russian grammar books there is a rule saying that definite article must be used with superlative adjectives. However from time to time I see people using indefinite article. For example, a ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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
1
vote
1answer
49 views

out of the reach or out of reach

I have seen the following on different products. Keep out of the reach of children. Keep out of reach of children. What is the difference between the above statements?
37
votes
8answers
4k 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
83 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
36 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
votes
0answers
53 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
118 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 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
0answers
18 views

When “and” connects two subjects, can we remove the article pertaining to the second subject?

When “and” connects two subjects, can we remove the article pertaining to the second subject (as in the following example)? Original sentence: The implementation of the algorithms on the CPU and ...
0
votes
2answers
72 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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
590 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
52 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
votes
2answers
82 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"?
9
votes
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?
1
vote
4answers
347 views

“Took the Russia out of Vodka” or definitive articles with country names

I'm trying to better understand the meaning of the phrase in the Skyy Vodka ad ("Vodka so filtered we even took the Russia out of it"). AFAIK the name Russia is never used with a definitive article, ...
0
votes
1answer
108 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
votes
1answer
74 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
58 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 ...