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I am confused by whether or not to add "the" before a plural noun. For example, do the following two sentences mean something slightly different from each other?

(1) We analyzed the potential implications of such practices for consumers.

(2) We analyzed potential implications of such practices for consumers.

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1 Answer 1

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A similar question was already asked here.

It can have different meanings, for example:

We analyzed the potential implications of such practices for consumers.

In this case, "the" could mean that the implications studied were specific ones, which the author may have already stated before.

We analyzed potential implications of such practices for consumers.

While in this sentence, the implications are unidentified and clearly not stated before.

Generally, "the" before a plural name indicates a specific group, while a plural without "the" is a general not specified group.

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  • Thank you for the answer. Would (1) be incorrect if the author never specified any implications in the rest of the text?
    – HNG
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 19:51
  • I don't think it would be incorrect. I believe in that case the author has a very specific idea in his mind, and that he's going to explain the implications he has in mind. But it's just a rule of thumb, I think there is no rule, but I might be wrong. Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 19:56

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