Is it grammatically correct to put an "article" before "follow the rule"?

For example:

  1. If the product follows the ABC design rule,......
  2. If the product is made by following the ABC design rule, .....

I know the second one is correct, but if possible, I'd like to simplify the sentence as much as I can.

  • 1
    If “the product” is already in context, then simply: “If the ABC design rule was followed...”
    – Jim
    Feb 4, 2017 at 6:13
  • Version 1 is fine. Feb 4, 2017 at 6:19
  • @Jim How if there's no "The product" in context? Is the first one wrong?
    – Leonard
    Feb 4, 2017 at 6:24
  • The ABC-design-rule product is...
    – Stu W
    Feb 4, 2017 at 11:55

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is absolutely correct to do so, as it refers to an existing Grammar rule and "the" is a reference back to that particular rule.

As for the word product, if you are referring to a particular product, which has already been mentioned; you may say, "the product" else "a product."

Having said that, the simple answer to your question is, an unequivocal, "Yes".


There is a subtle difference between the two sentences: the first says the product follows the rule, the second says making the product follows the rule (suggesting that the rule is about the manufacturing process).

It's also hard to say whether "the" is correct without a specific context. For example, the manufacturing process might "follow OSHA safety rules," or it might "follow the OSHA safety rules." The first gives a sense of following OSHA's rules instead of not following any rules; the second gives a sense of selecting OSHA's rules, instead of a different set of rules.


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