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Should I remove the article 'the' before 'present-day' in this sentence?

The cornerstone for the present-day Chrysler was laid a long time ago.

  • "The" doesn't refer to "present-day", but rather "Chrysler". – Hot Licks Jan 18 '17 at 13:15
  • But if "present-day" were not present, including the definite article wouldn't be a credible usage. In most contexts, Chrysler is similar to, say, God or Hitler, in that unless implied otherwise we assume there's only one of it (it's just a proper noun, so articles don't work). Qualifying the proper noun X with an adjective opens up the possibility that there are other instances of X to which that adjective doesn't apply - the Christian God, the pre-war Hitler, etc. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 18 '17 at 14:13
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The answer depends in part on what "Chrysler" is referring to. Does Chrysler refer to the Chrysler company (or the Chrysler corporation)? Alternatively, does it refer to the Chrysler car (or the Chrysler model or line of cars)?

If Chrysler is being used to refer to the Chrysler model of cars, then the answer is: No. "The" is necessary if you are referring to the abstract notion of the present-day Chrysler (car model) in the singular, as proposed in the original question.

On the other hand, if Chrysler is being used to refer to the Chrysler company/corporation, then removing the "the" would be acceptable.

All of the above having been said, while "the present-day Chrysler" is grammatically correct, "present-day" sounds rather awkward, at least for contemporary American English.

It would probably be more typical to phrase this as, for example:

The cornerstone for the contemporary Chrysler was laid a long time ago.

or

The cornerstone for the modern Chrysler was laid a long time ago.

or

The cornerstone for today's Chrysler was laid a long time ago. *

*This last phrasing, which does exclude "the," would probably be the most typical, actually, in marketing jargon. And it could apply to either Chrysler as the car model or to Chrysler as the company.

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