I am writing documentation for an online store platform. Can I use a construction like "the customer" in a generic sense, when it is supposed to mean "any customer of any online store that uses the platform". Or shall I start with "a customer" in every help article and then go with "the customer" only when the word appears for the second time?

Based on this article About the definite and zero article meaning generic concepts I guess the use of "the" in this sense is limited to species and inventions but I'd like to make sure nevertheless.


We would need the exact context to determine which identifier is correct, but generally, there is nothing wrong with using "the customer" in this sort of writing.

In documentation for a website, "the customer" would be understood to mean the customer who is using this application.

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