I am not sure what article to use in the following sentence:

Dear IT support, within your IT product I am using a / the part "GERMANY" and within it a / the module "HAMBURG" and having the following problem...

On the one hand the part and the module are mentioned for the first time so "a" should be appropriate, on the other hand I am talking about a specific part and module, so "the" also does not seem to be that bad. Names of the part and module ("GERMANY","HAMBURG") are explicitly mentioned, which brings me to an idea that probably no article is needed at all.

  • 5
    The definite article the is what we need in both places. This is because we are talking about specific objects. For more, please see also English Language Learners where questions about articles are more appropriate. Good Luck.
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


I understand the confusion. In this case there are two reasons why you would use the definite article the:

  1. You are talking about a named product or component. While there are many of that component, we can group them all into a kind of "generic" instance. For example:

Hi, Apple support person? I have a question about the iPhone.

There are many iPhones, and if you wanted to report a problem with one of them as separate from all the others, you might say "an" iPhone. But in your case it sounds more like you are talking about all similar components.

  1. You are talking to someone who you can assume knows what you mean, so you don't have to add context to specify which product or component you mean:

Hi, good friend! Let's all go down to the village pub later and have a pint!

Yes, there are many pubs in the village, but I can assume my friend knows the one I mean. In the same way a support person will know that the item you are talking about is something they make -- because otherwise why would you call them?

On the other hand, if I am talking about one component of many which is failing, or I don't know the name of it, I can use the indefinite article instead:

Hi support person! I opened up my computer and there's a green board-like thing in there. It's just blinking at me and my computer won't turn on.


No need of using definite article at both places that used in the above text.At the final part, yes "the following problems...." b/c the problem is more than one...so "a" never used for a single noun/pronoun

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