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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 24 months to assist students who may need to juggle various other commitments. And from the 2014-2015 academic year, a new combined mode will be introduced.

Thank you.

  • It's OK... I'd rephrase it though. Starting from the academic year 2014-2015, .... – Mari-Lou A May 2 '14 at 7:21
  • It seems awkward to begin a sentence with and when there is no preceding context provided. Such lack of context makes it difficult to determine whether or not the article is "necessary." My gut feeling says keep the article in place, but I'd suggest editing your question and providing more context than you've provided here – it certainly wouldn't hurt. – J.R. May 2 '14 at 7:22
  • Ok, I have provided more context. However, my question is mainly on whether the definite article "the" is needed for "academic year". I know that there is no article before a noun followed by a categorizing letter or number, such as "section C" in "The students have just read section C." I wonder whether "year 2014-2015" is good enough already. – Louis Liu May 2 '14 at 7:54
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I find no fault with the second sentence as it has been presented, either with regard to the phrase "the 2014-2015 academic year" or with starting the sentence with And. It is perfectly well-formed and idiomatic.

But there is a problem with the first sentence:

Though normally completed in one year on a full-time basis, allowances are made to extend that to 24 months to assist students who may need to juggle various other commitments.

The problem is the dangling participle. The writer presumably means that the course is normally completed in one year, but the way they have constructed the sentence implies that allowances are normally completed in that time.

To make it less awkward, I would simplify it as follows:

Though the course is normally completed in one year on a full-time basis, if necessary it can be extended to 24 months in order to assist students who have to juggle their commitments.

  • Thank you for pointing the serious mistake of dangling modifier. – Louis Liu May 4 '14 at 14:40

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