If you are forced to stop using articles with nouns, would you find it difficult to write or have a conversation?

It is not a question about your feelings, but when you are using an article with a noun, does it come as part of thinking or how you "suppose" to talk/write?


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closed as unclear what you're asking by Scott, jimm101, user66974, curiousdannii, user140086 Oct 28 '16 at 11:54

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  • Could you provide example? [Russian speaking English] Could you provide an example? [American speaking English]. The answer: of course it is not "hard". It just sounds awful. – Lambie Oct 27 '16 at 18:06
  • Even with the example, the question still seems a little unclear to me. The use of "free license" without an article is idiomatic in some cases. But in those cases, it is usually metaphorical. If the "license" is supposed to be a specific document, it does sound wrong to leave out the article. There can also be differences between writing and speaking, since people may abbreviate phrases in writing more than they would in speaking. Can you clarify if you're asking about natural speech, or written sentences? – sumelic Oct 27 '16 at 18:25
  • ok, your comment uses few "the" and "a" articles. Can you talk (or write) without using them? For example: "Even with example, question still seems little unclear to me. Use of 'free license' without article is idiomatic in some cases. But in those cases, it is usually metaphorical. If "license" is supposed to be specific document, it does sound wrong to leave out article." – Sergiy Tytarenko Oct 27 '16 at 18:39
  • @SergiyTytarenko No, that is quite ungrammatical. You can understand it, of course, but it sounds distinctly like a Russian speaking English without being very good at it. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 28 '16 at 16:37
  • No native speaker would leave out the articles like that; people use them naturally, just like native Russian speakers naturally inflect nouns for gender and case (but English speakers learning Russian often have to consciously remember to do this). – sumelic Oct 28 '16 at 17:23

Articles provide a nuance to english communication that is absent without them. The names of the articles, "definite" and "indefinite" describe the difference: "The aim of something" would refer to the principle or main aim of something, whereas "An aim of something" would refer to one of perhaps many aims of something.

A native speaker uses articles without thinking because they are part of the language. It would be hard to drop them without practice.

Non native speakers, coming from a language like Chinese (which lacks articles in the sense we understand them), often omit articles in their speech which is heard as broken or simplified English. A native English listener can infer which articles are missing and interpret the meaning of the speech, but can become distracted from the meaning of the speech in the process or, worse, misinterpret the intelligence of the speaker.

Having said that, if you have a heavy accent of any kind (Russian, Chinese or Yorkshire even), most listeners will make allowances for dropped articles.

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