I read and compared with this question: Are there any simple rules for choosing the definite vs. indefinite (vs. none) article?

However, either I am missing something here ... or the first construction is plainly wrong with regard to the answer given there (and still heavily misused all around).

In constructions like this one:

"Currently, sales report is executed automatically every hour" vs. "Currently, THE sales report is executed automatically every hour"

... I see both versions around quite frequently, both with or without "the". Do I understand correct that according to the answer given on the other thread, only the second approach is correct?

3 Answers 3


In general, any time you are referring to a single instance of something, and the word used is not a proper noun, you should precede the noun with "a", "the", or one of certain adjectives, like "one" or a possessive. Note that most adjectives don't eliminate the requirement for the article.

Right: I fed the dog.
Wrong: I fed dog.

Right: I fed Rover.
Wrong: I fed the Rover. (assuming "Rover" is the name of the dog)

Right: I fed my dog.
Wrong: I fed the my dog.

Right: I fed the black dog.
Wrong: I fed black dog.
  • What do you mean with "proper noun"?
    – bonifaz
    Nov 7, 2011 at 21:02
  • A "proper noun" is a word that identifies a unique something, and is usually a name. Like "Fred Miller" is a proper noun, because it identifies one particular person. "Man" is not a proper noun because there are many men in the world. Well, I should clarify that "John" is a proper noun even though there are many men named John, because normally when we use the word we are referring to one particular man named John.
    – Jay
    Nov 8, 2011 at 16:11

The confusion may be arising because you are hearing "sales report" in a very specialised context. When talking about sales reports in normal conversation, only the second construction is correct. However, my guess is that in the context you are hearing it, "sales report" is the name of a program or process that creates a sales report. In this case Sales Report is a proper noun, and the second case makes sense.


As it is written, I would say "Currently, the sales report is executed automatically every hour."

However, from the context it seems that this refers to a computer program executing to compile/generate a sales report. In the case where this program is called "Sales Report", it would also be correct to say "Currently, Sales Report is executed automatically every hour."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.