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Does one say:

"500 bags were stored inside container number MSCU 849817-5"

or:

"500 bags were stored inside the container number MSCU 849817-5"

Thanks in advance for your replies and explanations guys!

closed as off-topic by Kris, ab2, tchrist, vickyace, Mari-Lou A May 27 '16 at 21:43

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  • Both sentences should be fine. – Archie Azares May 24 '16 at 8:08
  • Please see also: English Language Learners – Kris May 24 '16 at 9:14
  • The first is fine. The second would be better as "....inside the container numbered......" – ab2 May 25 '16 at 1:06
  • Thank you all for your replies. Similarly, what should be the correct sentence: "In Bill of Lading No. GCIU012, it is indicated that..." OR "in the Bill of Lading No. GCIU012, it is indicated that..." – Pascal Sep 20 '16 at 7:36
1

You should say

"500 bags were stored inside container number MSCU 849817-5" (option 1)

or

"500 bags were stored inside the container numbered MSCU 849817-5"

When you say "the container number MSCU..." it sounds like the noun is the number itself, "the container number", while in fact you mean to talk about "the container", adding some extra information about the number.

In other words, this

"500 bags were stored inside container number MSCU 849817-5"

breaks down into

500 bags were stored inside
container number MSCU 849817-5

Which gets the message across. Similarly

500 bags were stored inside
the container numbered MSCU 849817-5

conveys the same message.

Your option 2 risks being parsed like

500 bags were stored inside 
the container number 
MSCU 849817-5

which would cause confusion: it reads like you're saying that the bags are stored inside the "container number", which doesn't make sense. Afterwards, the reader will see the number, and hopefully think "Ah, wait - that's the number of the container, and he means that the bags are stored in the container with that number". But, it's better to avoid that confusion in the first place.

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