Golden moles

The golden moles belong to the same branch on the tree of life as the tenrecs, called Tenrecomorpha, which in turn stem from a main branch of placental mammals called the Afrosoricida.

Why is there a "The" before the second "golden moles" ?

The word "moles" has been written without the word "the" in the title. And as I understand, this is correct because "moles" are plural nouns used for a general idea. I think this have to be applied on the first sentence as well.

My guess is that the "the" has been added because the second golden moles refers to the title - but I am not sure.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_(animal) Thank you

  • 1
    I think this is a case where it is grammatical with or without the "the", and the meaning is much the same either way.
    – Nat
    Nov 30, 2016 at 5:12

1 Answer 1


It would be grammatical with or without "the" and the meaning is the same (as @Nat comments above). "The" emphasizes that moles are being described as a class. That is already clear from the rest of the sentence, but in similar cases this could be an important distinction.

To make this even more clear, the class could be made singular:

The golden mole belongs to the same branch on the tree of life as the tenrecs

While "the tree of life" already makes it clear that we are talking about classes of creature, here is an example where "the" might help.

In Florida, bats emerge at dusk.

We know that some bats emerge, but maybe many don't.

In Florida, the bats emerge at dusk.

As a group, bats in general (mostly or all) emerge.

  • Thank you for your comment. But let me check this please: Basically, you want to say that the sentence with "the" speaks about a class different from other classes while the sentence "without the" speaks about all the moles with a general idea. Is that right ? Nov 30, 2016 at 13:12
  • 1
    In your example "the" makes no difference, because a class is clearly being discussed in either case. In other examples, with 'the' may indicate "members of this species, in general" and without the: some specific animals, not all. "The eagle builds nests in high places." (Species, in general.) "On the western plains eagles build ground nests." (Some do, these specific ones do, not all, not in general.) Dec 3, 2016 at 17:04

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