When talking about an industry, is the definite article needed?
Does it need two definite articles if referring two industries?

Road transport development benefits the e-business industry.
The e-business and the express delivery industries depend on road and air conveyance development.

  • There's no context here, but most likely OP would do better to write benefits rather than is benefiting. If he thinks of "e-business development" and "e-business delivery" as separate fields of endeavour, it's industries. Otherwise it's singular. It wouldn't be grammatical to introduce a second definite article without repeating e-business as well - and that would be extremely clunky phrasing, so it's not really worth considering. Commented Sep 29, 2013 at 15:43
  • I changed the examples here to make it more clear.
    – canoe
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 7:51
  • Using articles does need to be crammed. You can use your common sense here. "A" and "An" are used when the subject is not known beforehand or anonymous and ""the" is sued when the subject is universally known or the audience knows it.
    – Mistu4u
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 8:37
  • Your examples are now correct, but I'd eliminate the second definite article in the latter example. (“The e-business and express delivery industries depend on road and air conveyance development.”) Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 22:03

1 Answer 1


Short answer: yes, definitely.

"The textile industry", "the Coca-Cola Company", "the Men's Wearhouse", etc. are all correct. This is only the case when talking about a specified business or category, however; when talking about "any warehouse" or "an industry", the definite article is not needed.

To your second question (is it necessary to use the definite article twice when talking about two different businesses), you don't have to, but it makes the meaning clearer if you do.

You could correctly say "the red and green boxes", for instance, but it would be ambiguous. (Is it two boxes which are both red and green, or is it one of each?)

"The red box and the green box" is more clear. Therefore, I'd use two definite articles, the way you have it in your example.

  • I think you can say the Men's Wearhouse, but I think people are more likely to talk about Men's Wearhouse without an article. I searched COCA to see, but it didn't have enough results to confirm (one with the article, three without), but you can find lots of places online where it doesn't have an article, such as Wikipedia. I think The Coca-Cola Company usually has an article, though.
    – user230
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 2:29

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