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Having Checked this question out, I want to know something beyond.

I have the following sentence:

Nowadays, most of the IT companies adopt agile methodologies for their software development process

Nowadays, most IT companies adopt agile methodologies for their software development process

However, I'm not exactly sure which one is correct. Since I think that the term IT has made the term companies specific and known. Is this deduction correct? Can we use the first form on this assumption?

Thank you.

  • It's "specific" as to the type of companies you're talking about (IT companies and not other kinds of companies), but your version without the refers to "most IT companies" in general. – AmE speaker Oct 21 '17 at 12:56
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    Without prior reference such as @Clare might be hinting at, it's still acceptable. Compare 'Most of the banks ... / Most banks ...'. It means precisely the same as your second variant, but the latter is preferable as it sounds less chatty, more formal and professional in register. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 21 '17 at 13:03
  • The argument is the same whether you use simple or compound nouns. Use the when you've identified the composition of the group (here, a group of IT companies), and leave it out when referring to the group in the generic sense. – Lawrence Oct 21 '17 at 13:41
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    Neither is ungrammatical. You can still say 'Most dogs like sausages' even though you've identified/specified a single species. 'Most of the dogs like sausages' virtually demands that you're talking about an identified subset (say those in your boarding kennel). 'Most of the cats hunt by day' is ambiguous: it could be referencing an identified subset (the cats on the street say) or be talking about different cat species. And 'Most of the IT companies use clever strategies ...' is likewise ambiguous; it may be referring to an already-identified subset, or to all IT companies. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 21 '17 at 22:49
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    Yes both sentences are grammatical. But which one you would use depends on context. – AmE speaker Oct 22 '17 at 3:42
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The second sentence is correct. A sentence beginning "Most of the IT companies..." must continue with "...that (do something)" or "...in (a place)" or some similar specifier to define a specific group of IT companies that are different from other IT companies. This sentence is not talking about most of a specific group of IT companies, it's talking about most IT companies in general. Therefore, no "the."

  • Thanks for your response, but I'm still not convinced. If we look this statement from a higher level, It'll be somewhat challenging. Look, I'm talking about those companies which are engaged in IT industry (and not other industries). – inverted_index Oct 21 '17 at 19:45
  • In that case you'll say "THE companies in the IT industry." (definite article) – Daniel Bensen Oct 22 '17 at 14:44
  • But your noun isn't "companies" it's "IT companies." If you don't further specify some set of IT companies, there should be no definite article. – Daniel Bensen Oct 22 '17 at 14:45

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