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I found a sentence ''Mosquitoes locate her human target by following the carbon dioxide that we exhale''.

Why is ''the'' used before ''uncountable noun''? Does the writer mean ''specific kind of carbon dioxide''? Can I change this sentence into ''Human being exhale the carbon dioxide''?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Edwin Ashworth, David, Davo, waiwai933 Aug 29 '17 at 7:56

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    Can you give us more context? This might be appropriate if (for instance) it occurred in a passage describing a CO2 cycle, where a 'specific' volume of gas is tracked. – StoneyB Aug 27 '17 at 14:03
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    You need to provide the sentence/s immediately before this one. There is absolutely no rule saying that non-count nouns may not be preceded by a definite article where appropriate. 'This bacon and eggs is lovely. Where did you buy the bacon?' – Edwin Ashworth Aug 27 '17 at 14:04
  • "The" marks the noun phrase as definite, in this case not just any carbon dioxide but specifically the one that we exhale. – BillJ Aug 27 '17 at 16:20
  • This is purely a matter of style. You could write that sentence any number of ways, including, for example, "... by following exhaled carbon dioxide." – Robusto Aug 27 '17 at 16:21
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    This sentence has a few issues. "Mosquitoes locate her human target*..." doesn't make any sense: it should be "Mosquitoes locate their human targets*..." or "A mosquito locates her human target..." – sumelic Aug 27 '17 at 19:11