2

I would like to limit my dissertation to three spheres: economy, politics, and culture of America.

Do I need to add 'the' before economy, politics...?

  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/2031/… – z7sg Ѫ Jan 13 '12 at 16:55
  • There should be no whitespace before the colon. This is English, not French. – RegDwigнt Jan 13 '12 at 18:08
  • 2
    I think it would be decidedly odd to say "I'm talking about economy of America" or "...American economy", so I don't think the word "the" can be discarded in the context of this list, even though it's possible to discard it with politics and culture. – FumbleFingers Jan 13 '12 at 19:04
4

I would go with the economy, politics and culture.

The reason I prefer that is because there are two senses of economy.

  1. the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money
  2. careful management of available resources

The second is a mass noun so using the definite article precludes it. Of course, the reader should infer meaning number 1 anyway but I think it sounds better this way.

  • I was tempted to say that he would be better to write, "economics, politics, and culture" etc, to get the parallelism between "economics" and "politics". But I thought a little more and concluded it didn't matter. Debateable, I guess. – Jay Jan 13 '12 at 21:13
  • @Jay Yes was tempted to say that too! But for some reason it sounds better this way. I was also tempted to post a lot of examples like "It's the economy, stupid" and "a day in politics is a long time" but I can't really explain in more detail precisely why you do need the article for the economy. I agree with the comment on the related question I posted that it's something you have to just get a feel for in English rather than something governed by set rules. – z7sg Ѫ Jan 13 '12 at 23:46
1

There is a difference between economy and the economy here (so it is with the rest.)

I would like to limit my dissertation to three spheres: economy, politics, and culture of America.

refers to the academic subjects.

I would like to limit my dissertation to three spheres: the economy, the politics, and the culture of America.

refers to the state of these things at some of time, presumed current, unless defined in context.

That's the way I would understand it.

0

I think that sentence would be grammatically correct with no "the", with a single "the" before "economy", or with a "the" before each of the three items. My inclination would be to include three "the"s, but I don't think it's wrong without it, nor do I see how it would change the meaning.

0

As it is something listing it seems you do not need using "the". This may be another alternative:

I would like to limit my dissertation to three spheres: American economy, American politics, and American culture.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.