He will not get any benefit from the sales of book.

He will not get any benefit from the sales of the book.

  1. My question is how to use articles in noun phrases. "Sales of book" I consider as a one noun phrase. Therefore I use "the" before the phrase, but in the second sentence I use "the sales of the book" as an online sentence checker interprets the first question as an error.

  2. The second question is: when I write two nouns together and one is countable and other is uncountable, what is the rule for of the use of the article in this case? My concept is that i will use the article according to the meaning of the two nouns together in a sentence and a phrase like "finance department" will be considered as an countable noun.

  • In English, we always capitalize the first person pronoun. Also, the articles are missing not only from your first example question, but in other parts of your question. To see where I have added them, click on the edited link under your question. This may be helpful Nov 11, 2016 at 4:24
  • You need a determiner before most nouns. That can be an article, a demonstrative, a number, a possessive, etc. A good link is here. Nov 11, 2016 at 4:31
  • @ P.E. Dant and @Andrew, the edited link really helps a lot. I am very thankful to both of you. Nov 12, 2016 at 3:43

1 Answer 1


"Sales of book" is not grammatical. You need something before "book" -- his book, the book, a book, etc. Even if it seems redundant you do need articles before each noun unless the noun is part of a known compound: bus stop, egg rolls, circus clown, washing machine, etc. Examples:

Our next appointment is on the first of the month.

He was the first in his family to go to college.

The sales of the book have been disappointing.

With compound nouns (like finance department) the first noun (or nouns) modifies the last noun. You go by whether the last noun is countable or uncountable. Examples:

I drove by the post office today. (office is countable)

Could you please buy some goat cheese? (cheese is uncountable)

She almost ran into the milk truck (truck is countable)

  • You might mention that the "something" required before a noun has a name. Determiner is often used. Note that "you do need articles before each noun" is not exactly true, but "you do need a determiner before most nouns" is. Nov 11, 2016 at 4:31
  • @P.E. Dantt Can you explain in which cases there will be no determiner required especially in noun phrases. Nov 12, 2016 at 3:23
  • @RaheelBari here is a page with some information on when you do and don't have to use a determiner. There are many other resources like this. Unfortunately the rules are not short or simple.
    – Andrew
    Nov 12, 2016 at 3:36
  • @Andrew is it possible that in the compound noun first noun can make second noun from uncountable to countable. Nov 12, 2016 at 6:05
  • @RaheelBari that's probably a good question to ask on its own. I'm sure it's possible but I don't know of any examples.
    – Andrew
    Nov 12, 2016 at 14:52

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