The reaction results in (the) oxidation of these compounds.

These goals can be achieved through (the) creation of large-scale databases.

(The) addition of fruit flavor enhances the popularity of yogurt in general.

My understanding is that the definite articles are optional in all the three sentences above and they mean almost the same thing with out without a "the." But I am inclined to think that the versions with a "the" sound more formal than ones without one.

Would you agree?

What other differences are there between the versions with and without a "the"?

  • I don't think your third example works. // Without the sounds like a more general statement. It sounds more like a law of nature, more theoretical, and less about a specific observation. – aparente001 Mar 26 '17 at 5:26
  • I agree with @aparente001 that the third would benefit from the definite article. Although you can leave it out in all of them, to me the definite article helps the reader decode the meaning; if I were doing the writing, I'd include it in all three cases. – Xanne Mar 26 '17 at 22:24
  • @Xanne Thank you. I think I see structures like these without a definite article in scientific writing more frequently than in other forms of writing. Perhaps, like you suggest, many people would prefer to see a definite article in non-scientific contexts? – Barouche Mar 27 '17 at 16:15
  • @Barouche Probably you should follow the style of the publications where you would like to publish. – Xanne Mar 27 '17 at 17:51

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