2

I'm confused with the usage of the definite article.

During the development the following tasks were accomplished:

  • Software with a graphical interface was created;

  • [some other things]

I know exactly the software which was developed, and I am writing an annotation for my work. Should I use the before software?

3

2 Answers 2

3

The simple rule is:

If you had mentioned the particular piece of software in a previous sentence and this sentence is with reference to it, then begin with The.

If not, you are refering to 'some software' and so you will begin with Software.

1
  • Thanks,it is clear now. It was not mentioned before. I introduce the things i made in my annotation.
    – iensen
    Apr 26, 2012 at 18:14
3

The before software is unnecessary (and I think awkward); the before development is unnecessary and awkward; the article a should be added before graphical. Thus:

During development the following tasks were accomplished:
• Software with a graphical interface was created.

or

During development the following tasks were accomplished:
• Software with graphic interface was created.

10
  • Thank you. I agree it is awkward. But how can we omit an article if we are talking about an exact object(not one from some generality) and it is not a name or something else like that? Is there any precise rule in English grammar?
    – iensen
    Apr 26, 2012 at 18:12
  • "During the development" indicates a software application was (being) developed! So, watchout, the article The is not superfluous.
    – Kris
    Apr 26, 2012 at 18:14
  • @Kris, are you suggesting that "During the development" indicates an app was developed, but that "During development" does not? Pray explain why. Apr 26, 2012 at 18:19
  • Not at all. "During the development" shows that an application software was mentioned earlier, the development of which we are now speaking of. So, if the next sentence is probably about that same piece of s/w, in which case, the article is required.
    – Kris
    Apr 26, 2012 at 18:29
  • @Kris, I feel obliged to disagree. See, for example, book refs for during development and during the development. You will observe in the former set usage as in my answer (development as a noun), and in the latter set, with development as an adjective; eg "during the development of gait". Apr 26, 2012 at 18:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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