1

However, we haven't gone through the details of OO language in PHP.

A friend of mine, who is a native English speaker, says that this sentence sounds okay to him - you don't need an article. Nevertheless you do say THE English language or THE Spanish language in English. Why is it not the case here?

6

The 'OO' in that context stands for 'object-oriented'.

However, we haven't gone through the details of object-oriented language in PHP.

Object-oriented programming/scripting/coding (be it PHP or any other language) is a particular style of coding, and is not a separate language in itself. 'English' and 'Spanish' obviously are distinct languages. We therefore use the definite article when referring to the language that is English, as we're referring to a discrete entity. So, as per your example:

However, we haven't gone through the details of the English language in business settings.

We would not use a definite article when talking about a particular style or usage of English, and would instead say:

However, we haven't gone through the details of business language in English.

Just like object-oriented PHP, 'business language' in English is nebulous and indefinite — it is not a specific language. Hence, no definite article.

  • 4
    Not worth writing my own answer for it, but you could maybe add that with any non-definite adjective in front of language, no definite article is used: we talked about formal language, we talked about sign language. But if the adjective defines one language, the definite article is used: we talked about the Maori language, we talked about the _recently discovered language that the author mentioned in his article. – oerkelens May 7 '14 at 12:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.