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  1. Management is trying to cut employee salary and benefits.
  2. Management is trying to cut the employee salary and benefits.
  3. Management is trying to cut an employee salary and benefits.

First sentence is not using any determiner before noun phrase though it is correct as it is copied from Cambridge dictionary. Without using any identifier how it is interpreting the whole company employee.

The second sentence I use "the" as an determiner but now the sentence is pointing towards only 1 employee so it should be written as

  1. Management is trying to cut the employee's pay and benefit.

The third sentence with "an" is pointing towards the one employee which is not specific, though it is grammatically correct but does not make any sense.

Please discuss and explain especially why first sentence is correct.

Regards;

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  • One thing more, What is difference between "the employee pay and benefits" and "the employees pay and benefit". Does "the employees pay and benefits" mean all the employees of a particular company.? Does "the employee pay and benefits" mean a Does "the employees pay and benefits" mean all the employees of a particular company a particular employee of a particular company. Sep 18, 2016 at 9:18
  • I would argue that sentence 1 should read, "Management is trying to cut employee salaries and benefits."
    – EllieK
    Feb 26, 2018 at 13:56

1 Answer 1

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In your first sentence:

Management is trying to cut employee salary and benefits.

The phrase "employee salary and benefits" is normally used to describe everything an employee gets for working somewhere; it is a collective group like 'all pants in my house' or 'red items in my pocket'. The sentence implies that salary and benefits of all employees will be cut but it is not explicit; the sentence may mean instead that that only some employees will have cuts.

In your second sentence:

Management is trying to cut the employee salary and benefits.

Adding the 'the' doesn't change the meaning from the first sentence. Both sentences are grammatically correct.

In your third sentence:

Management is trying to cut an employee salary and benefits.

This sentence should be altered to:

Management is trying to cut an employee's salary and benefits.

This sentence has the meaning that one specific employee is having his salary and benefits cut. Using 'an' has the meaning of one specific employee. The apostrophe (employees') means the salary and benefits are owned, possessed, or a part or feature of the employee.

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  • Thanks for reply. I don't understand your point. There should be an article with countable noun and how the first sentence is correct without any article or determiner. Please explain. In second sentence if i have used the employee pay and benefits then does it mean a very specific employee who has been discussed before or it meams all the company employees. Sep 18, 2016 at 13:57
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    @RaheelBari: Using 'the' is optional when applied to a collective group of different items. Both 'All the pants in my house' and All pants in my house' have the same meaning. Both 'All red items in my pocket' and 'All the red items in my pocket' have the same meaning. In this case "employee salary and benefits is a collective group of items (the group that includes hourly pay, medical insurance, a company car, free lunch, or whatever), and so you can include the 'the' or not as you choose without changing the meaning of the sentence. Sep 22, 2016 at 5:43

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