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I have reviewed several related posts here but am still quite confused with the use of determiners.

Say, in this sentence - "They reviewed the forms again to ensure completeness and accuracy." What difference does it make if I add a "their" before "completeness and accuracy"?

Also here is another sentence I don't understand - "We're pleased to offer you employment with Bank ABC." Why "employment" has no determiners before it? Isn't there a "specific" reference here?

Finally, could you recommend me some authoritative further readings on this topic? I really hope to make the concepts clear. Thanks a lot!

  • Collins Cobuild produces / produced monographs of over 100 pages each on 'Determiners/Quantifiers' and 'Articles'. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 18 '14 at 7:14
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In your first example, there is no difference. It is clear from context that the forms are what is being discussed with regard to "completeness and accuracy".

In the second example, what kind of determiner are you imagining? " "employment" is a non-countable noun, so it does not take "an". On the other hand, you could write "the position" or "a job".

  • How about "the employment"? Does it sound weird? – Leo Dec 18 '14 at 7:34
  • Yes it does sound weird. – Brian Hitchcock Dec 18 '14 at 7:51
  • @Leo: Depends on context. If you mean a specific job offer, it does sound weird. In a different context, it can be used, e.g. "The employment of children in sweatshops is morally ambiguous". You're not talking about a job offer here, but about the general concept. – Flater Jun 16 '15 at 12:02
  • Yeah, I only meant it would sound weird in this context, speaking of one job opening. – Brian Hitchcock Jun 17 '15 at 7:24
  • It’s not entirely unambiguous that the completeness and accuracy discussed pertain to the forms. For example, if ‘they’ are inspectors that have just completed an inspection of, say, a factory without finding anything amiss, they might review their checklist forms again to see if they’d missed anything and thereby ensure the completeness and accuracy of their inspection, rather than of the forms themselves. So in some contexts, adding ‘their’ may change the meaning or even render the sentence confusing. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 14 '15 at 20:44

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