Questions tagged [articles]

Use this tag for questions about the usage of articles (e.g. a, an, and the).

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What's the difference between "on a Saturday" and "on Saturday"? [closed]

What's the difference between "on a Saturday" and "on Saturday"? I've seen "on a Saturday" several times but I don't get what would be the difference if we say "on ...
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Good, bad, ugly? - "with professional efficiency" vs "with a professional efficiency"

Is either wrong? What's your take on the difference? I'm writing my first story and have an editor who has been great. I'm going through their edits and changing my draft as per their suggestions. One ...
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Repeating definite/indefinite article for each noun in a list [duplicate]

Should we repeat them or not? For example: He brought the umbrella, the stick, the bag and the flower. He brought the umbrella, stick, bag and flower. She has a dog, a cat, a parrot and a tortoise. ...
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"they ride through the main street of town" - why an article is omitted? [duplicate]

I was reading Quentin Tarantino's DJANGO UNCHAINED screenplay and stumbled upon the following sentence: As the citizens of Daughtrey wake up, Django and Dr.Schultz ride Fritz and Tony through the ...
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Capitalization of an article in a sentence

Can an article be capitalized, to cause emphasis of a subject. Specifically the indefinite article A or An. I tried researching this and found capitalization rules but none in regard to being used ...
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Rock, Paper, Scissors Game - what article before rock and paper [closed]

Let's play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" game. If you play "rock", then would you say? I've got a rock I've got rock (without a)? The first option seems much more natural. On Youglish ...
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Possession 's form and articles

I am starting my question with the Wikipedia page on Young's modulus and its usage of the possessive 's form on the proper name Young. According to me, the text starts well with the definition of ...
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Definite article for general use of "curriculum" required?

We do not use articles before uncountable and abstract nouns used in a general sense. (https://www.englishgrammar.org/omission-articles/) In the following sentence, our copy editor added the the, but ...
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Is the definite article required in front of the noun that is followed by a "that ..." specifier?

In the following sentence, is the definite article "the" required in front of the noun describing a group whose scope is narrowed by a subsequent description? They established better ...
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Use of definite and indifinite articles [duplicate]

If I am talking about the food of a specific country like for example Poland. Do I say the Polish food or Polish food?
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A few chairs or few chairs? [duplicate]

I was wondering why we use the article "a" before few? For example, why we say a few chairs instead of few chairs? Is it similar to the word "a lot"? We say a lot of chairs instead ...
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Articles before names of theorems

there was a similar question but sometimes you cite theorems just by of authors, e.g. you don't say by the Hopkins-Levitzky theorem we conclude but you just say it follows from Hopkins-Levitzky. and ...
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Can I say "play the key role in"? [closed]

If A is the main factor in successfully doing something, is it proper to use "A plays the key role in doing something" rather than "A plays a key role in doing something" (I think ...
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Why does "the blockchain" have a definite article?

I have noticed that the technology word blockchain often seems to be used with the definite article the even in contexts where there is no specific blockchain being referenced, where with other nouns ...
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lacquer finish/a lacquer finish/the lacquer finish [article usage]

I've just read an article about lacquer finish (or should I say a lacquer finish here?), and the use of articles is a bit confusing. The headline uses the indefinite one, which is kind of clear ...
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How to grammatically explain this sentence? [duplicate]

No compassion for the suffering or willingness to engage in dialogue with feminism. I know it can be paraphrased as: "[He] has neither compassion [for women's suffering], nor willingness to ...
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A EE Undergrad vs An EE Undergrad [duplicate]

What is the correct article before EE (Elecetrical Enginereering)? Should I use "a EE undergrad" or "an EE undergrad"?
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Why do the English say ''Harvard University'' or ''Manchester Airport'' but ''the Guggenheim Museum''? [duplicate]

My question is why do the English say "Harvard University" or "Manchester Airport" but "the Guggenheim Museum". According to the book English grammar in use — the blue ...
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Use of "the" in front of plural nouns

I have a question around using 'the' in front of plural nouns. Students who work hard are likely to get good grades. The students who work hard are likely to get good grades. Are these two sentences ...
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Conjunction reduction and singular/plural ambiguity [duplicate]

There is one XYZ formulation and one ABC formulation. The original statement is: […] that allows for a comparison between the XYZ formulation and the ABC formulation. Which of the following mean the ...
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Why use the definite article before the nouns that are mentioned for the first time?

In the Wikipedia article on Cloakroom there is the following paragraph: Attended cloakrooms, or coat checks, are staffed rooms where coats and bags can be stored securely. Typically, a ticket or ...
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Articles usage and human organs [duplicate]

As far as I know, usage of general concepts allows the usage of a zero article. But what about the organs, such as liver, lungs, or brain? Is it acceptable to use them without an article in academic ...
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Use of article with the word "future" - another example!

A few months ago, there was a post asking when one must use an article like "the" or "a/an" with the word "future." The discussion focused on determining whether "...
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"by afternoon" or "by the afternoon"

I was reading the book Advanced Grammar in Use (Martin Hewings) and there was an example: I’ll be there by (the) morning / ... by (the) evening. but … ... by the afternoon, not … by afternoon) ...
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"Last but not Least" or "The last but not the least"?

Is it because, in most cases, we use "last but not least" after mentioning some items that don't add "The" to the phrase? or is it just an accepted exception? Shouldn't the correct ...
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Proper use of articles in mathematical expressions

I am having trouble using articles correctly, especially in mathematical expressions. I made two sentences: Consider the family C of subsets of a set X. Consider a family D of subsets of a set X. It ...
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".. some observers clearly showed [a] more stable performance across conditions" Should "a" be there?

Should the following sentence contain the indefinite article: a? some observers clearly showed a more stable performance across material conditions.
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The purpose of definite articles in the extract [closed]

Can anyone explain me the usage of articles in this extract? When students in the UK were asked by a national newspaper what kind of college they would like to go to, they agreed that one of the most ...
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Which word(s) should I use plural form in this sentence?

Here's a sentence in my essay: I am fascinated with the intersections between sciences and arts. I'm not pretty sure does that sound natural? Should I use the plural form of 'science' and 'art' here?...
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A or an? Which article must be used here? [duplicate]

I am not sure which article I should use before the abbreviation NLSM, which stands for Non-Linear Sigma Model. Example: It has a NLSM description. or It has an NLSM description.
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"Year followed year" phrase, and missing 'a' article

Maybe some of you will know, why isn't there any article 'a' before the nouns 'year' in the phrase "year followed year"? This phenomenon is also present in phrases like "year after year&...
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Correct grammatical number of items belonging to a group, e.g.. ‘Every person has a nose.’ [duplicate]

In the sentence ‘Every person has a nose.’ there are many persons, but the plural of nose is not used. I’m really curious that ‘a nose’ itself refers to all noses or itself just refers to a nose? ...
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Article choice regarding scientific relationships

I am always confused which kind of article I should put in the following case: This paper shows an/the inverse relationship between gravity and air density. At first, "the inverse relationship&...
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Can the noun eyewitness be used properly without a preceding article?

Today I was writing an email calling somebody "eyewitness to" some event, but it was marked as incorrect and it was suggested I precede it with an article; i.e. an eyewitness, instead. But ...
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What's right way to talk about garlands? [closed]

'Tis the season, and garlands are cropping up in discussions. As you notice in that sentence, I pluralized the word "garland". If I were referring to a single instance, such as one strand ...
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Whether to use "the" before abbreviations such as HTTP

... 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 ...
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Use of article: "by the air" or "by air"? [closed]

I like to travel by the air. I like to travel by air. I think the first one is correct because no human can travel in air (general meaning of 2nd one). When "the" is used with air it means ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Difference between make 'an' effort and make 'the' effort [closed]

Consider the following sentence. Yet I still enjoy making ____ (an/the) effort to bake at home from time to time. Here, what is the difference between an and the? Is effort here a specific or common ...
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Article for programming data types

I'm writing documentation for my data analysis framework, and there are classes Histogram and Graph. I document a function that transforms one Histogram to one Graph as Transform a Histogram to Graph ...
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Will "a" or "the" be presumed in this scenario? [closed]

Suppose a native English-speaking witness in court is testifying about what she saw. The story, as previously narrated by the witness in her written statement, starts with a certain identified/named ...
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"An X of an Y" or "The X of an Y"?

Important: All of the examples below are assumed to be used when we say something like "a cat" and not "the cat". That is, for example, when we are introducing something for the ...
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Usage of English articles with mathematical equalities

I was curious about how English articles work with cases such as: For all of the simulations, the B = 15 mT, the f = 10 kHz. The B and f are of course defined earlier in the text and are used in the ...
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The British writer or British writer

I know this sounds dumb but I have just come across this sentence: The book was Jude the Obscure, a novel by the British writer Thomas Hardy. So the phrase "British writer" is preceded by ...
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6 votes
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Why are the articles "an" and "the" not allowed in this structure? "(The/An) X though Y was..."

(*An) astute businessman though he was, P was capable of extreme recklessness (*The) actual perpetrators though they were, the criminals never admitted their guilt in court Why are the articles not ...
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The definite article before dark, darkness, light

Why is there a definite article before the words darkness and light in the sentence below: But as is so often true, the darkness lingers longer than the light. And why is the expression in the dark/...
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Should I use definite or indefinite articles in appositive phrases listing someone’s accomplishments?

Not sure which is correct: I interviewed Bob, a writer for Time Magazine, the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, and the author of three books. or I interviewed Bob, a writer for Time Magazine, a ...
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Is it grammatically correct to say that someone is "the son of Satan"?

I read a news report today which is titled "Chinese State Media Slams Soros As 'The Most Evil Person In The World' And 'The Son Of Satan'". My question is not about politics but English ...
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Article after 'added' or 'implemented' in software changelogs [closed]

I'm writing a document describing what has been added or changed in a new version of a software app. Among the changes are new features allowing the users to do certain things. (1) Is it correct to ...
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Why is definite article (the) used in this sentence?

"Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the near-surface air and the oceans." I understand that the above sentence is the definition of global warming, so the nouns in ...
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How to underscore words/phrases in notes and presentations when it comes to articles?

I am not a native English speaker and in my language we don't have articles. So, I would like to ask whether you underscore (or make bold) (in your personal notes or in public presentations, etc.) or ...
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