A determiner serves to express the reference of that noun or noun phrase in the context.

Highs & Lows, an addict's path to recovery.

Highs & Lows: addicts path to recovery.

So is the second example wrong without the determiner or stylistic choice? They both have the same meaning but one references one single person.

You may see usage of the second example in a newspaper for instance.

2 Answers 2


Since you've omitted the apostrophe, we can't tell whether the second one is singular or plural; so it could be grammatical with a plural possessor ("addicts' path" = "the path of addicts").

But, assuming you intended a singular reading ("addict's"), then the second is incomplete, except in headlinese, where articles are often omitted.


As good general guidance, all singular countable nouns must have a determiner.

In the case of plural countable nouns, a determiner is used "where appropriate".

Determiners include, but are not restricted to "a/an, the, any, John's (or any other genitive), my/our/their, etc., numbers, etc."

See https://englishstudyonline.org/determiners/

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