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I am struggling with the definite article. I have checked other posts and examples. But often I stumble upon some cases which I just can't fathom, and can't make them fit into the given examples.

#1 without THE

a) LinkNatalie Portman has pulled out of a major award ceremony due to take place in Israel, citing her “distress” at recent events in the country.

b) LinkRecent events on US college campuses illustrate how the right has fine-tuned its formula for pushing progressives' buttons.

c) LinkAs the Resolution Foundation thinktank has noted, council tax is only weakly linked to the value of the property and has failed to capture changes in house prices.

d) LinkAs birthrates dropped in the 1990s, the number of children in state primary schools in England and Wales plunged.

Questions:
a) b)Why not the recent events in the country The recent events on US college campuses? We exactly know which events we are talking about. We can point at them: this event, that event. Is it without THE, because the writer actually doesn't know or doesn't care about each and every individual event? We just know that some events did happen and we are indiscriminately referring to them as a bundle.

c) Why not the the changes in house prices? Is it without THE, because the writer knows that there were many changes? Had there been a very few well known and prominent price changes would have it been the changes in house prices?

d)Why not the state primary schools in England and Wales? We know which primary schools are there in England and Wales, this school, that school.

#2 with THE
a) LinkThe UK knows well the benefits of the single market.
b) LinkIt lays bare the multiple injustices heaped upon disabled people and their families.
c) LinkReligious toleration and common law without the periodic invasions that beset other parts of mainland Europe.

Questions:
a) Is it the benefits of the single market because we know exactly, or were supposed to know, about which benefits the writer is writing about? This seems similar to #1 a) b) Had there been many indiscernible benefits, would it have been benefits of the single market?

b) Why the multiple injustices? The text did not elaborate on these injustices. If it is in general about injustices, shouldn't we write multiple injustices?

c) Why the periodic invasions? The text did not mention individually any of these invasions. Why not periodic invasions

  • Please cite the sources. Journalese tends to drop too many things -- the objective is only to convey the meaning within as few words as possible . It's not about grammar. – Kris Aug 3 '18 at 7:19
  • I have provided the links. How would you write it and why? Thanks – whowhenhow Aug 3 '18 at 10:48
  • As surmised, the source in all the instances turns out to be The Guardian, so it's journalese after all. – Kris Aug 3 '18 at 10:58
  • How would you write it and why? – whowhenhow Aug 3 '18 at 11:14
1

What may help is to remember that your first couple of examples do have an article, namely a plural indefinite article. In English, that is the zero article.

If you change the sentence parts to singular, you will see an indefinite article appearing:

Natalie Portman has pulled out of a major award ceremony due to take place in Israel, citing her “distress” at a recent event in the country.

It is an unspecified event. It's not interesting which event it was specifically. In the plural, the same holds.

A recent event on a US college campus illustrate how the right has fine-tuned its formula for pushing progressives' buttons.

Unspecified event at an unspecified campus. Same story.

As the Resolution Foundation thinktank has noted, council tax is only weakly linked to the value of the property and has failed to capture a change in house prices.

Actually, this hardly changes the meaning of the original sentence. We are not talking about a specific change, but any change.

As birthrates dropped in the 1990s, the number of children in a state primary school in England plunged.

It happened at a non-specific school, and in the original at a lot of unspecified schools.

The UK knows well a benefit of the single market.

This seems strange, we expect that benefit to be a specific one (and in the plural, they are specific benefits).

It lays bare an injustice heaped upon disabled people and their families.

This seems a different sentence. The original is about specific injustices, namely those that befell disabled people and their families.

Religious toleration and common law without a periodic invasion that beset other parts of mainland Europe.

Again, this sentence was about specific invasions, namely the ones that beset other parts of Europe.

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