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I am having difficulty deciding whether the definite article is required in the following sentence.

An indicator of a strong character is (the) person’s ability to compliment the achievements of others.

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    You need some kind of article. Zero article will not work there. – Cascabel Oct 17 '19 at 14:08
  • Did you mean complement or compliment? – Weather Vane Oct 17 '19 at 14:19
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    You need the indefinite article "a" (where "a person's" is equivalent to "one's" in this context). Edit: Looking at it again, I guess it really depends on the context. If what precedes is a discussion of a specific kind of person, then the definite article is more appropriate. But "an indicator of a strong character" seems to imply we're talking about people in general. – AleksandrH Oct 17 '19 at 14:19
  • @WeatherVane Corrected :) – nomad Oct 17 '19 at 14:22
  • Replace person's with people's and you can remove the article. But you have to use an article in front of singular count nouns in most constructions (including this one). – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Oct 18 '19 at 3:36
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Certainly an article of some sort is required here, and I personally prefer a to the. But you can easily avoid the problem:

An indicator of a strong character is the ability to compliment the achievements of others.

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I think either a or the is required in the context. If you do not use an article , the sentence becomes ungrammatical

An Indicator of a strong character is a / the person' s ability to compliment the achievements of others.

I thiink it can be simplified as:

An indicator of a strong character is a/ the person's ability to compliment others' achievements.

If you want to talk about persons in general you have to use the article ** a**. or if you want to talk about a particular person you have to use the article ** the**

I think the use of definite article restricts the general sense.and I tend to use a in the sentence

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It is required.

In English, we have what are called noun phrases, and as described by this source:

In normal writing, nouns nearly always feature in noun phrases. It is rare to find a noun functioning by itself (i.e., without any modifiers) in a sentence.

Nouns are rarely used by themselves in noun phrases, a notable exception being when we use them as subjects when talking about the attributes of categories:

Boys are great!
Life is tough.
Drugs are a problem.

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