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The world 'level' is a bit tricky for me as it appears either with or without the definite article. I'm trying to understand when I can get rid of the definite article and when it should stay. I couldn't find any information on the Internet.

What's the difference in meaning between these sentences and are they correct?

What subjects do you study at the extended level?

What subjects do you study at extended level?

I love playing games at easy level.

I love playing games at the easy level.

Is it because each level is already unique and therefore you can dispense with the definite article? I've seen both used and the option without any article seemed to be more prevalent in general.

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  • It is because it is unique that you need the definite article. One of the commonest mistakes is to omit the article, even though it often is omitted! "I swim in river", bad, "I study at school", ok. Sep 17 '17 at 0:11
  • Have a look at my answer to a related question on our sister site.
    – Lawrence
    Sep 17 '17 at 5:14
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The normal rules for using articles apply to “level”. If one is referring to a particular known level then it is “the level” otherwise it is “a level”. What may be confusing is that, sometimes, levels are given names in a particular context. For example a game may have levels named “novice”, “easy”, “medium” and “advanced”; in that case you should use the level name without an article (e.g. “I played at easy level.”).

In your examples you should omit “the” only if “easy” and “extended” are level names.

An analogy with railway stations:

“The train sounds its horn when it stops at a station.”

“I am looking for the nearest station.”

“Are we close to Paddington station?”

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