Questions tagged [articles]

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

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“The” before acronyms and abbreviations

I saw several posts about usage of "the" before acronyms, but I still haven't found any answer on my question. Let's say I developed a System for Definitions' Retrieval (SDR). So, should I refer to it ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the practice of dropping words from sentences? [duplicate]

Most instructions for equipment and software make a habit of shortening sentences by dropping words of certain parts of speech - usually definite and indefinite articles. For example: PULL (THE) ...
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2answers
14k views

Capitalization of the word “the” in “the Lord” / “The Lord”

Should I capitalize the word "the" when speaking of God as "the/The Lord"? I praise the Lord. or... I praise The Lord.
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5answers
875 views

What is the proper use of “The” in front of certain nouns?

I was reading a novel (The Stranger) that included the usage, “...speaking the French.”; another (Radio Free Albemuth) included, “We were listening to an LP of the Jefferson Airplane at that moment.” ...
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1answer
813 views

Reading of the article “an” preceding quotations

Speakers often add “quote” or “quote, unquote” before quotations. But when a quotation is preceded by the article “an”, how should that article be pronounced? As I understand, the choice between “a” ...
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2answers
166 views

Is “a” mandatory in “I'm a whole new (Name)”?

Let's say, your name is Kate and you say "I'm a whole new Kate!" Now, can you drop "a" and say "I'm whole new Kate!"? Or is it mandatory to keep it?
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3answers
7k views

Is it not that big a deal vs No big deal

I was just checking an advanced grammar and learned that the following is possible: It is not that big a deal 1) The book says I cannot skip the article. But how come in "ordinary" version there ...
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1answer
1k views

How to use articles? When to use “a”, “an”, “the”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any simple rules for article usage (“a” vs “the” vs none) When should I use “a” vs “an”? Can anyone explain to me when and where to use ...
0
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1answer
200 views

Which nouns should include an article after “go to [noun]” in AmE and BE?

When referring to a non-specific instance of a place (hospital, theatre), there seems to be a strange inconsistency as to when you use the. Is there any sort of pattern, or is there any reference site ...
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1answer
10k views

What are the rules of capitalization and article usage with building names?

What are the rules for building names? In particular, does the word "building" need to be capitalized when a part of a building's name? How about article "the" - what are the rules for using it as a ...
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1answer
177 views

On page seven vs. on [a/the] page seven [closed]

Do I need to place an article in a phrase like: You could find it on [a/the] page seven. What is the corresponding grammar rule? Thank you in advance
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0answers
185 views

Why shouldn't we say “an user”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” vs “an”? Does one use 'a' or 'an' before the word X-Ray? As far as I understood, you prefix "an" instead of "a" ...
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3answers
2k views

What article should be used in such sentences?

What article should be used in the following sentence? He was English by [a/the/] blood. I feel there should be a zero article here, but I was taught that the zero article is impossible in English....
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3answers
28k views

Dropping articles in the title (of an article or a section) or in the caption (of a figure or a table)? What's the general rule?

It is said that "To give added punch, articles are often dropped in the titles" Source: http://www.davidappleyard.com/english/articles.htm Is there any general rule or reference about dropping ...
5
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3answers
20k views

Which is right — “all the three” or “all three” in a situation of specific objects?

Let's imagine, I'm speaking about someone's three specific cars, which are over there, there, and there. Now I'm saying that I have installed a new sound system in all of them. Which is right: [....
5
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1answer
6k views

When can you use 'a same'?

When will we use 'a same', instead of 'the same'? Is it grammatical to say: We wore a same hat yesterday. We talked to a same teacher everyday.
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2answers
13k views

A or an XML report? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Does one use 'a' or 'an' before the word 'X-Ray'? Quite simply, should a sentence read "a XML report" or "an ...
9
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3answers
68k views

“At the time” versus “at that time”

If I want to say that during the accident there were no passengers, how do I phrase it? There were no passengers at the time. There were no passengers at that time.
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3answers
27k views

“Is key” or “is the key”?

I wrote this: This means that, as with any distributed application, concurrency is key: we have at least one flow of execution per node running concurrently with all others, and [...] I was told ...
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2answers
8k views

“Any” with countable nouns in questions

I have seen "is “any” also used with plurals", which explains that any can be used with singular, plural, and uncountable nouns. However, I want to ask specifically about questions. E.g.:...
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5answers
22k views

Is the phrase “man is mortal” grammatically correct? [closed]

Or, must it be "Every man is mortal"? How about "Tree is mortal"? In another sense, "A detailed description of a man", "A detailed description of man" or "A detailed description of Man"?
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1answer
2k views

“An” average of vs. “The” average of

When nouns such as average, total, sum, etc., are modified by a prepositional phrase, how do you choose between the definite and indefinite articles? I cited sentences 1, 3, and 5 below from various ...
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2answers
44k views

“On grounds of” vs. “on the grounds of”

Here's the sentence from Wall Street Journal: ...eight individuals have been deported on grounds of national security. Instead of this, if one says, ...eight individuals have been deported on ...
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9answers
4k views

“Has a value of” vs. “has the value of”

The basic problem The following types of expressions are ubiquitous, especially (but not only) in scientific and technical literature; note the indefinite article in the construction "...has/with a ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Why is “any” not classified as an article?

Answering the question, Use of articles with adjectives, got me thinking. Why is the word "any" not classified as an article? We learn in grade school that the three English articles are "a", "an", ...
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4answers
8k views

“Most” vs. “most of”

During most of history, humans were too busy to think about thought. Why is "most of history" correct in the above sentence? I could understand the difference between "Most of the people" and "Most ...
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3answers
613 views

“I have got a Playstation” versus “I have got Playstation”

Is it possible to avoid using the article in the following sentence: I have got a Playstation.
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4answers
14k views

Is it correct to say “via a”?

Is it considered proper English to say something like this? I called her via a telephone. Or should the indefinite article be omitted entirely? I called her via telephone. If the indefinite ...
12
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1answer
670 views

Does absence of articles in computer-related sentences look natural?

I'm a non-native speaker (actually from Russia) and for us the articles (a, an, the) came as a thing that we just have to adopt. We do not have not similar constructions in Russian. Menus I see in ...
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4answers
3k views

Why does English have an indefinite article? [closed]

I've seen many non-native speakers of English not making use of indefinite articles, presumably since their first language did not contain them. Thinking about this, and about the fact that even in ...
8
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2answers
34k views

When do you say “Earth” and when “The Earth”? [duplicate]

I'm reading the page on Wikipeda: Earth [...] is the third planet from the Sun[...] The Earth's human population is [...] Then the University of Tennessee's page The Earth is certainly the most ...
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4answers
6k views

Origin and usage of “a shambles”

"Shambles" is one of the few singular nouns in English that blatantly resembles a plural noun. What is the origin of "a shambles"? Why do we really need to prefix an "a" in front of "shambles"? Which ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Is there a solid reference/rule on when not to put article after 'of'

I have not found any articles or documentation on this, the only thing close to it is this Zero article after "of" in "a change of place" thread which only has a single answer ...
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1answer
1k views

Should an article follow “some sort of” when a singular noun is used?

I was wondering what the rules are when it comes to using articles with the phrase some sort of, and specifically in this sentence: They’re treating me like I’m some sort of a star. They’re ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the etymology of “the”?

I was just having this conversation with a friend. Where does the word "the" come from?
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4answers
12k views

“What a beautiful day” or “What the beautiful day”? And “why”?

Although we know that day which we are talking about, why don't we say "What the beautiful day!" instead of "What a beautiful day!" ? In addition, a friend of mine explained the following, but in my ...
2
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2answers
2k views

the definite article in front of a noun that is followed by a defining clause [duplicate]

When we want to refer to a specific noun, we use the definite article 'the'. When the noun is followed by a defining clause, again we use the defining article 'the'. My question is why the following ...
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2answers
2k views

Should I use an article with the word “part”?

I’ve noticed that some people use an article with the word “part” and the bulk of them does not (at least at some web pages I skimmed through). Which is the correct variant? I think that parts of ...
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1answer
1k views

Can you use an article in front of the word “software”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why don’t we use the indefinite article with ‘software’? Can you say "a software" or "the software"? E.g. That is how you use the software.
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1answer
1k views

I'm having a question OR I'm having one question - Which sounds better? [closed]

Can anyone please tell me, what would be a nicer way to ask a single question to a project manager or a team leader? I'm having a question OR I'm having one question. Which one is preferable?
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1answer
11k views

Is an article an adjective? [closed]

I have always believed that articles (a/an, the) are a special type of adjective.. In watching a TV show recently (Smarter than 5th Grader) - A question was - "How many adjectives are in the ...
9
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5answers
6k views

Use of “The better”?

Disclamer: English isn't my first language. I learned during my English courses (a few years ago), that there is, as in French (which is my first language), a comparative and superlative version for ...
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3answers
2k views

Is it correct to say “one out of *a* possible four”?

I am curious if it is correct to say "one out of a possible four". This is what I found in a publication: Discrete level (one out of a possible four), corresponding to a range of safety ...
7
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2answers
12k views

Can I start a sentence with a singular noun with no article?

For example, which one of the following sentences can I use? Consumer of Product X needs to fill out a rebate form […]. Consumers of Product X need to […]. A consumer of Product X needs to […]. ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Should “the” ever be dropped from the beginning of a name/title?

Imagine two places exist, both called The Haunted Forest. How would I specify which forest is being referred? Would one say the northernmost Haunted Forest, or the northernmost The Haunted Forest? If ...
5
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1answer
22k views

a part vs. part [duplicate]

part (mass noun) is close to "some", it means some but not all thing. a part (countable) is a separate piece of something that you can combine with other pieces. It has been always a problem for me ...
5
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1answer
860 views

Articles with initialisms: 'the' or no 'the', can both be correct?

(Skip to the end for the actual question.) Definitions According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, an initialism is: "An abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately". According ...
5
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2answers
748 views

Preceding article in foreign words [closed]

For articles on GL&U it is usual to use German words in English texts. While writing an answer, I was unsure how to use articles in a right way. Finally, after I had read my answer again, I became ...
5
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2answers
16k views

Should “an” be used before words beginning with “h”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A historic…” or “An historic…”? Should an be used before words beginning with 'h'? What about when the 'h' is silent and is followed by ...
3
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2answers
2k views

“Some same thing/person”

I wonder if it is correct to say "some same thing/person", in order to mean some thing/person same as the one just mentioned earlier? If not, what is the correct way to express the meaning? My ...