How do we separate the following sentences in terms of meaning?

We cater to all business requirements.

We cater to all the business requirements.

IMO, 'all business' denotes each and every business while 'all the business' denotes all the activities of the business. Am I right? Please give better sentences in this context if any.

  • 1
    Do you mean "We cater to all business requirements" meaning requirements that a company needs. "We cater all business requirements" means you will serve food (catering). – Peter Aug 30 '16 at 13:18
  • Thanks for correcting me. I mean 'cater to all business requirements'. Edited. – Rucheer M Aug 30 '16 at 13:24
  • @Peter: I think that's misleading. If a company's website said We cater all business requirements I still wouldn't think it likely they were in the "commercial catering" business. The only thing I'd be sure of would be that their marketing department was staffed by non-native speakers. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 30 '16 at 15:20

(In this context and many other contexts), the implies something already being discussed, or something that has already been specified.

If you have been talking about business requirements and want to refer specifically to those requirements that you have already talked about (not to other requirements that you have not talked about),

all the business requirements is appropriate.

(This one seems less common to me. It would often be clarified:

all the business requirements that we have discussed)

If you want to talk about business requirements including ones that have not been discussed,

all business requirements is appropriate.

(This one seems better for your example.)

| improve this answer | |
  • Good point. There may also be an unintended 'exclusionary' aspect to using the business - e.g. cater to all the business requirements (only), but perhaps not the staff health and safety requirements. This is arguably implicit in the all business version, but seems to be more prominent in the all the business version. – Lawrence Aug 30 '16 at 14:17

Your first sentence

We cater to all business requirements.

is a general statement referring to every need a business may have.

Your second sentence

We cater to all the business requirements.

is either referring to requirements which have been discussed in a separate context, or the sentence is unfinished

We cater to all the business requirements you may have.
We cater to all the necessary business requirements.

Usually, this sentence might be phrased

We cater to all your business requirements.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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