the phone number for [article] interpretation service is 217-000-0000

assuming the service is mentioned in the sentence for the first time,

which article should I use?

  1. "the ~" sounds ok but still I feel like there will be a better choice of an article.

  2. "an ~" sounds like there will be a service and no more.

  3. Leaving it blank sounds ok but doesn't seem right.

Thank you!

  • The zero article should not sound okay: it is seldom used before a singular, countable noun in English, and here the noun is both. The definite article is best here, unless previous or subsequent sentences explain that several of them are being discussed. Jul 5, 2017 at 1:57

1 Answer 1


The article to use in your example is dependent on context

the phone number for the interpretation service is 217-000-0000

if it's obvious you have a specific provider in mind, otherwise

the phone number for an interpretation service is 217-000-0000

could be the answer for a general question about service providers.

Without an article

the phone number for interpretation services is 217-000-0000

would be for a specific service, e.g. one at a university.


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