This question is the last one for today :)

There is a sentence: "What are the names of (the) summer months?" Is the article "the" necessary here, before "summer months"? Can the zero article be used here? The question means not specific summer months, but all of them - June, July, August.

Many thanks!


2 Answers 2


The definite article "the" is necessary here because its use specifies all the summer months. If you did not have it in the sentence, e.g. "What are names of summer months?" then the answer could be simply some of the summer months, rather than all. Zero article is usually considered to exist before proper nouns, and therefore is not applicable in this case, since the noun is "...months."


The is a definite article. It is used to describe something "specific". Use The when talking about something which is already known to the listener or which has been previously mentioned, introduced, or discussed. The can be used with both singular and plural nouns.

There is a pencil in my purse. The pencil is yellow.

Thank you for walking the dogs. (A previously known set of dogs)

Although, in this case, it is not referring to a specific summer month, it is referring the a specific set of summer months (plural), June, July, and August. Thus, a definite article is correctly used.

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