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Should it be

"It is temperature that has the biggest impact on food"

Or

"It is the temperature that has the biggest impact on food"

What are the rules regarding this?

Another example:

"There is a correlation between degree of decomposition and time of death"

Or

"There is a correlation between the degree of decomposition and time of death"

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  • The English language has become relatively bendable regarding the placement of the definite article 'the'. You can find the rules all over the internet, no need to regurgitate them here. Regarding your question, my opinion: 1st) with and without 'the' appear all right. 2nd) If you put in 'the', you would somewhat insinuate that to speak about a certain value or threshold. Without 'the', it would be a more general statement not indicating a specific value. Hence, this also implies that if you had a specific 'time of death', you could say 'the time of death'. – johann_ka Apr 22 '20 at 4:25
  • With your second examples, I'd use 'the degree of decomposition' probably if and probably only if speaking about a particular case. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 20 '20 at 14:51
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● It is the temperature that has the biggest impact on food. I think "the" in this sentence is fine.but,using "it" as a subject here is weird for me,because "it" is used to refer to the noun previously mentioned.In this sentence,I think using "this" is more preferable.

● There is a correlation between the degree of decomposition and time of death. This sentence is fine as well.And it must have "the" here because the word "degree" is singular.If you have a singular noun in your sentence,It must have an article,demonstrative adjective before.but,If you have a plural noun,That is not necessary.

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