I know that 'The' is the definite article, which is used in front of a noun when a specific thing or group of things is referred to as opposed to making general statements.
However some confusion arose when I look at the sentence below:
- I will destroy (the?) people who interfere with my plans.
My questions is this: Is the above sentence identifying a particular group of people, and is the definite article needed?
If the sentence is constructed this way :
- I will destroy the people who interfered with my plans!
It would make perfect sense why the definite article is required, as the readers would understand from it that there were people who interfered, and the speaker, with anger and frustration, wants to get revenge on those people.
However, in sentence number 1, the speaker didn't refer to people in general (everyone) but 'people that interfere'(specific). Yet the speaker doesn't know who will and who won't get in the way of his/her plans, and neither do the listeners. To add to that, I feel like sentence number 1 sounds better with than without the definite article, but that is disregarding logic and grammar rules (which I couldn't find one to answer my question).
Here is another sentence I looked at:
- I like people that are confident.
This sounds very much correct and much better than 'I like the people that are confident.' But isn't 'people that are confident' also definite? What is the logic here? Does a relative clause determine if a noun is definite or indefinite?