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From the official Autodesk page:

Create or open a document with the styles you want to copy to the style library.

From the official For Dummies page:

Create a new document or open a document with styles that you can recycle. (Without the in front of styles.)

It seems Dummies version is an error, isn't it?

Another option is that both versions are correct, with a subtle difference in the assumed meaning. But I really don't see any difference in the context of these examples, and therefore one of them should be wrong (to my opinion).

  • 1
    No, not an error. Can I assume that the OP is not a native speaker of English? – GEdgar Nov 2 '19 at 12:39
  • @GEdgar Yes, English isn't my native language. – john c. j. Nov 2 '19 at 12:40
  • In case English is not your native language, you may often get more understandable explanations at ell.stackexchange.com that you get here. – GEdgar Nov 2 '19 at 12:42
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In the first case the styles are known to the reader, in the second one they're not.

Create or open a document with the styles you want to copy to the style library.

"Styles you want to copy" are predetermined in this context (since these are the ones you want to copy to the style library), and thus this sentence uses the definite article 'the'.

Create a new document or open a document with styles that you can recycle.

Here, the dependent clause is "styles that you can recycle". Adding the definite 'the' would suggest that these styles are known in advance, or that they are limited, and different from styles that you cannot recycle. Using no article implies generality.

  • Well explained. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 2 '19 at 12:36
  • I have upvoted this answer, but I'm not sure I really understand it. I mean that from the context of the Dummies example it follows that styles are known to the reader. – john c. j. Nov 2 '19 at 12:39
  • In that second case, you are asked to 'open a document with styles you can recycle, or open a new document'. The 'styles you can recycle' don't matter in this case, they can be any style (whereas in the first sentence these are the particular styles that you as a user would want to copy in the first place). – Joachim Nov 2 '19 at 12:44
  • @EdwinAshworth Thank you. – Joachim Nov 2 '19 at 12:45
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"The" as Joachim alludes to, is the definite article - a specific thing or things.

Whilst the inclusion of 'THE' is more correct and precise - if the thing is known - I think one can also use the second form without creating a schism in the english-speaking world; most people will 'hear' the 'THE', or will understand the implication, if the Thing is known or specific.

  • Well, "alludes to".. spells out, really :) – Joachim Nov 2 '19 at 12:56
  • Why use one word when a thousand will do... – NeilB Nov 2 '19 at 13:20
  • Because of pictures? – Joachim Nov 2 '19 at 13:21
  • I think you make my point for me... – NeilB Nov 2 '19 at 13:52

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