Original sentence: "Science is largely based on testing disprovable hypotheses through collection of quantitative data".

I was told by a professor that "collection" would need to be preceded by "the". I originally wrote the sentence as shown above, since I had seen the exact phrasing multiple times in many different forms of writing, and also because I thought "collection of quantitative data" was used as an uncountable noun here, meaning it would not need an article.

In any case, I would like to know if my original sentence is grammatically correct or incorrect with reference to specific grammatical rules, if possible.

Thank you :)

  • There are arguments both ways. It should be noted that "collection" is being used to refer to an activity rather than an object, making the article less "mandatory", but an article may still be used. – Hot Licks Oct 15 '19 at 21:59
  • The original sounds fine to me. It is sort of interesting that "testing" is a verb (a gerund) and could not be preceded by "the", while "collection" is a noun, which could be, but I don't see how that would require "the" before "collection" (it just makes it possible). – Greg Lee Oct 16 '19 at 2:07

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