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Which one of each is correct?

A1 - He asked a simple question about the use of articles.
A2 - He asked a simple question about use of articles.

B1 - All universities in Vancouver are amazing.
B2 - All of the universities in Vancouver are amazing.

marked as duplicate by Kristina Lopez, RegDwigнt Aug 4 '15 at 8:40

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  • Which one of each do you think is correct and why or why not? – Kristina Lopez Aug 3 '15 at 23:01
  • All four are valid in terms of syntax and semantics. There are slightly different shadings of meaning. – Hot Licks Aug 4 '15 at 1:23
  • These are two entirely unrelated questions in one. Both of them duplicates of earlier questions. Please search the site before asking, and limit your questions to one question per question. Also, please see our guidelines for asking homework questions. Specifically, "make a good-faith attempt to solve the problem yourself first" and "ask about specific problems with your existing approach to answering the question". – RegDwigнt Aug 4 '15 at 8:41

I'm not sure if it's grammatically incorrect but A2 is definitely more awkward. Use A1 in all situations unless you reverse the order of the words, i.e., "use of articles" would become "article use", although that still sounds a bit awkward.

B1 and B2 have slightly different meanings, depending on the context. They are somewhat interchangeable but generally you will see them used like this:

B1's wording implies that Vancouver has some inherent property that renders universities amazing. If a new university popped up, it would be amazing.

B2's wording implies that you believe every specific university in Vancouver is amazing. If a new university popped up, it wouldn't necessarily be amazing.


All are correct except A2 which requires "the." This is a set phrase used in many instances. "About the use of X." or "the use of X." "The use of cell phones is forbidden." "Let's talk about the use of gerunds in English."


A2 is a perfect example of the clipped, chirping style of writing and speaking that boomed in the middle of the last century. (You might be able to find things like this in old movies, certainly in old newsreels or newspapers.) It is justifiable in shorthand or situations that require abbreviations, such as the old telegram writing. (COME AT ONCE STOP, INSTRUCT HIM USE OF ARTICLES STOP) Some of this probably carried over into general currency. It is really very bad English, however, and I would suggest keeping the article except in the idiomatic cases where it is really wrong.

The difference in B is mostly one of tone. B1 sounds slightly defensive or peremptory, as if someone had just muttered something about a bad university in Vancouver. All universities in Vancouver are amazing, in contrast to only some or most. B2 is less biased and is the standard way to produce this statement.

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