What is the correct use of the definite article for the following sentences:
- The new procedure reduces THE waste.
- The new procedure reduces waste.
- The new procedure reduces THE costs.
- The new procedure reduces costs.
Can you give a reason for the correct sentences?
From your answers (thank you!), the reasons for "the" are two:
waste or costs are mentioned before
waste or costs are NOT mentioned before, but it is expected that the kind of waste or costs is known
On the other hand, the reason for using the zero article is when the above reasons for the definite article can not be applied. Now, in the sentence "The new procedure reduces waste," is the waste bound to its general meaning, conveying a bad stuff? But in the context of this sentence, the "new procedure" is something specific, and therefore the waste is bound to this specific domain where the procedure activates. This contradicts the fact that the waste has a general meaning in that sentence. How do we solve it?