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... This setting determines whether HTTP and FTP URIs should be turned into relative ones if a file is stored using the HTTP or the FTP.

HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol, and FTP stands for file transfer protocol.

Whether we should use the definite article before HTTP and FTP in this sentence? Or maybe HTTP and FTP, when they are used as abbreviations, are treated more like proper names, such as NATO, without the article?

  • UNESCO designates World Heritage Sites.
  • Finland is not a member of NATO.

Edit: I mean the "bold" the:

... This setting determines whether HTTP and FTP URIs should be turned into relative ones if a file is stored using the HTTP or the FTP.

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  • 1
    It could be either way. Like whether (the) chairs should be put under (the) tables.
    – Peter
    Oct 17, 2021 at 12:58
  • “… using using those protocols.”
    – Jim
    Oct 17, 2021 at 18:56

1 Answer 1

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The URIs are properties of the file, so the shortest approach is to use its instead of the or nothing. It would be clearer though to say "This setting determines whether the HTTP and FTP URIs of a file should be turned into relative ones if the file is stored using HTTP or FTP.

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  • So there is no need to use "the" in the end of the sentence?
    – user90726
    Oct 17, 2021 at 13:21
  • No, you don't need "the" for HTTP, nor for FTP. The "the" I put in refers to URIs. It is like "the" refers to apples in "the red and green apples".
    – Peter
    Oct 17, 2021 at 13:31
  • But why? What is the logic behind not using "the" before HTTP/FTP when they are used on their own and not as a part of compound nouns? Maybe there is no logic at all? I'm from Russia, therefore my question may sound kind of naive for native speakers.
    – user90726
    Oct 17, 2021 at 14:21
  • 1
    HTTP is a defined standard; it is not just any protocol for transferring hypertext. This may be why it is treated as a proper noun like the name of a person or a company. Proper nouns (names) don't normally have "a" or "the" used with them. In the same way we don't talk about the England or the IBM.
    – Peter
    Oct 17, 2021 at 14:50

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