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Do you put the definite article "the" before "air" and "sunlight"? I know it mostly depends on context, so I have come up with example sentences.

Let's say I want to say these following sentences:

Sunlight is very strong in my country.

Strong sunlight isn't good for your skin.

The air is very fresh today.

Canada boasts fresh air.

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    All four sentences are correct and idiomatic.
    – tautophile
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 1:41
  • It wouldn't be so if I say "The sunlight is very strong in my country" and "The strong sunlight isn't good for your skin" right? Notice the definitive articles.
    – San Kim
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 2:29
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    isn't this question better suited for English language learners ? ell.stackexchange.com
    – Boondoggle
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 4:59

2 Answers 2

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The zero article is used when speaking generally. E.g. Strong sunlight is never good for your skin vs The strong sunlight today isn't good for your skin.

The definitive article is used for a specific case. Same goes for your third example, Today's air isn't very fresh. It's talking about air on a specific moment.

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  • You say "The definitive article is used for a specific case," but then you note that "Today's air is definite" specific ... but it doesn't use the definite article. Isn't this contradictory?
    – herisson
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 5:54
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Sunlight is very strong in my country.

I would say "The sunlight is very strong in my country" works just as well, or maybe even a bit better.

Strong sunlight isn't good for your skin.

This is correct; "The strong sunlight..." would be wrong here.

The air is very fresh today.

This is correct; "Air..." would be wrong here.

Canada boasts fresh air.

This is correct; "...the fresh air" would be wrong here.

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