"The descriptions given by people who claimed to have seen the puma were extraordinarily similar." It is a sentence from the first article of the NEW CONCEPT ENGLISH 3. I was wondering that why the determiner "the" is missing before "people" because my understanding was that people was specified to who claimed to have seen the puma.

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    It's a bare noun - just like the one you used in your own sentence in the snippet missing before () "people". – Lawrence Apr 27 at 7:00
  • Larry, the use of determiners is difficult for people learning English; native speakers don't think about it and don't need to learn rules. There's nothing wrong with the rule you cite, it's just that it has limited application--a first approximation. You will notice many examples of bare nouns as you read. – Xanne Apr 27 at 8:44
  • See also english.stackexchange.com/questions/2031/…. The answers there go into detail--so this is really a duplicate. – Xanne Apr 27 at 9:07
  • @Xanne No, those answers do not address this question. – Araucaria Apr 27 at 17:12
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    Larry, it's similar to this: Dogs who work with police departments must receive special training. We omit the definite article if we want to speak in generalities. Here's another: Articles are omitted when speaking in generalities. – aparente001 Apr 28 at 8:10

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