I don't know, but I always feel the use of the second the in Trump's book title "The Art of the Deal" is weird. It sounds like it's referring to a specific deal that he made. We wouldn't say "The Art of the War", or "The Art of the Movement", the second the totally changed the meaning of the title. So my question is:

Is that title correct?

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    It's not Trump's book. It was written by Tony Schwartz. Trump just paid to have his name on the cover.
    – jamesqf
    Nov 23, 2016 at 5:34
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    @TongFan the title is completely natural to a native English speaker
    – Ant P
    Nov 23, 2016 at 7:51
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    +1 Nice grammar question. Hope you get a good answer. This is about countable and uncountable nouns and the generic use of the definite article. Notice that war and movement are both used in their uncountable senses in the titles you mention. There is no comparable uncountable sense of deal. Nov 23, 2016 at 13:52
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    @Araucaria I think you may be right. Deal is a countable noun with no uncountable meaning, so it has to come with an "a" or "the." Searching the web, I found many examples of "the deal" used in phrases of indefinite sense. For example, a blog from Harvard Law School says "5 Tips for Closing the Deal." So, I guess that could be it! Thank you, Araucaria !
    – Tong Fan
    Nov 23, 2016 at 16:09
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    @Araucaria Why not put your answer in the Answer section so that I can vote for it? I think it's the most possible, if not right, answer.
    – Tong Fan
    Nov 23, 2016 at 16:57

2 Answers 2


He could have said the "Art of Deals", but saying The Deal places the word in a unique category which the Art of a Deal does not convey, nor even the Art of Deals. The Deal becomes a pursuit.

A similar construction in a book title might be " the Art of The Chase" or "the Excitement of The Chase" = books about hunting.

  • That's a very good analogy, thank you. This example further examplified @Araucaria's theory/answer above that "chase" is a countable noun in this phrase, so it just has to come with an article. (Google dictionary's examples: "she was an order follower of the chase", and "he gave up the chase.")
    – Tong Fan
    Nov 23, 2016 at 16:34

The publisher got it wrong. It should read, The Art of "The Deal". "The Art of Deals" doesn't share the same connotation and "The Art of the Deal" applies to just one deal.

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