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

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-1
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0answers
9 views

Which article to use: 'a' or 'the? [migrated]

In the following sentence, which article, a or the, is suitable before diameter, tensile strength, and modulus, respectively? What is the reason for that? For example, multi-walled nanotubes with ...
1
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0answers
34 views

Definite article before an abstract noun

When is the definite article the appropriate before an abstract noun? In particular, I have the following examples. Which are correct? Case I In the Theorem 4.4, we prove property A for all ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Why are academic articles/journals/papers so hard to understand? [closed]

I am a university student, I have to read a lot of published paper and cite them into my paper, but I find it really hard to understand the articles. I am not an English native speaker, but I can ...
1
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1answer
42 views

The use of article when an element is defined before

Assuming that a function f is defined, which one of the following statements is correct with respect to the use of article for "call"? I know that i is already introduced, but how about the call? ...
0
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1answer
94 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 ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Use of articles in mathematical writing

I'm writing a section about some mathematical properties and have trouble with the use of articles (indefinite/definite/no). I could come up with the following variants, but don't know which one is ...
0
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1answer
34 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
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2answers
33 views

indefinite article with proper names [duplicate]

Please help me decide which of the following two sentences in correct: Twenty-year-old Thomas Smith has been running his own business for already 2 years. A twenty-year-old Thomas Smith has been ...
0
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1answer
27 views

I found a/the rule about [duplicate]

Please, help to understand the meanings of two sentences. 1) I found the rule about the usage of this pattern. The only rule I found at all was about this pattern ? About this pattern I found only ...
1
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1answer
34 views

Usage of some with plural nouns

Please, help me understand the grammar behind "some" and "zero article". As I know, we use zero article with plurals in the same cases when we use indefinite articles with singular - making general ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Use of ‘such a lonely work’ instead of ‘such lonely work’

A sentence of William Zinsser in "On writing Well" goes like this: “Writing is such lonely work that I try to keep myself cheered up.” Does it make any difference or is it a wrong usage if I use ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Can an adjective change the use of zero versus definite article?

I have a little issue with the use of zero versus definite article, since I tend to abuse the former one. Consider the following sentences: The issue described above influences the quality of ...
0
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2answers
40 views

Omitting articles in front of countable nouns

First off, I'd like to say "hello", as it's my first post here. Nonetheless, you guys have been helping me for quite some time, since I've been an avid reader. It's high time I asked a question that I ...
1
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2answers
68 views

using “the” when referring to languages

When should one use "the" when referring to a language and when is just the noun appropriate? e.g. At the end of a quote one may see "Translated from the German." What about, "Joe translated the ...
0
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

I love pictures on my phone. The pictures are nice

There is a set of sentences: "I love pictures on my phone. The pictures are nice." In a thread I love pictures on my phone - what does zero article imply? I was told that the meaning of the first ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

When do you say “Earth” and when “The Earth”? [duplicate]

I'm reading the page on Wikipeda: Earth [...] is the third planet from the Sun[...] The Earth's human population is [...] Then the University of Tennessee's page The Earth is certainly the most ...
0
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0answers
12 views

Does a Parenthetical Adjective Change “a” to “an” When Appropriate? [duplicate]

Consider the following sentence: He pets a dog. If one wanted to suggest, as an aside, that the dog is excited, one might add that as a parenthetical adjective, as below. Would this change "a" ...
0
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2answers
45 views

“The + noun + of” construction meaning specific instances

Help me, please, with the next question. There is a book "The rules of management". Does the construction in the title says to us that in the book are all the rules of management (that I can't ...
1
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1answer
55 views

“A positive influence on [the] circulation of blood”

What is the difference in meaning between the following? Habitual physical activity has a positive influence on circulation of blood. Habitual physical activity has a positive influence on ...
1
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5answers
394 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, ...
1
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3answers
100 views

“become a President” or “become President”

If he had not been a film star, he would not have become President. In my opinion, "a President" is correct. Examples: "My dream is to be a teacher" "My dream is to be a President" ...
0
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0answers
6 views

“a time” vs “the time” [duplicate]

Reagan's "The Speech" made half a century ago was titled "A time for choosing". When is "a time" more appropriate than "the time" in the context of making a momentous choice?
4
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4answers
1k views

Origin and usage of “a shambles”

"Shambles" is one of the few singular nouns in English that blatantly resembles a plural noun. What is the origin of "a shambles"? Why do we really need to prefix an "a" in front of "shambles"? Which ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Using article “the” when addressing a general category in an article [closed]

I am writing an English paper; (actually translating into English from a Persian source), where the topic of "ending" in story writing is discussed. Due to frequent use of the term "story", can I use ...
0
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0answers
22 views

What voice (active/passive) is most suitable for literary academic papers (literary journals)? [migrated]

I know that many scientific papers are expected to be written in passive voice according to APA style. However, I don't know if this applies to literary papers too? Or should they be written in active ...
6
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5answers
730 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
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7answers
10k 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
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1answer
175 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
381 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
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3answers
124 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?
66
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13answers
21k 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 ...
0
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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 ...
1
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1answer
36 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 ...
0
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3answers
50 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
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3answers
16k 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
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0answers
17 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
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1answer
48 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
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1answer
28 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?
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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
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2answers
52 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
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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
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3answers
925 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
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4answers
104 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
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2answers
85 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
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2answers
81 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
53 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
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1answer
40 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
111 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
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2answers
85 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: ...