Is using the definite article here in this sentence incorrect? If yes, what's its reason? The word 'chapter' is a count noun.

Have you finished the chapter eight of your novel book?

  • @ColleenV: Why is it off-topic? It's a grammar issue. I wish you knew the answer and would state it here instead of simply making a great question off-topic!
    – Abbasi
    Oct 26, 2017 at 15:57
  • The close reason for proofreading does include an explanation: "Questions asking for someone to find and correct errors or improve the phrasing are considered requests for proofreading and are off-topic. Please edit your question to focus on something in particular that you are unsure about; if that's not possible, see websites for proofreading instead." If you'd like to discuss whether proofreading questions should be on-topic, please head to English Language Learners Meta.
    – user230
    Oct 26, 2017 at 20:17
  • OK, I will do that
    – Abbasi
    Oct 26, 2017 at 21:28

1 Answer 1


No, you can't say:

Have you finished the chapter eight of your novel?

You can say:

Have you finished chapter eight of your novel?

Have you finished the eighth chapter of your novel?

Have you finished eight chapters of your novel?

Have you finished the first eight chapters of your novel?

(Some of those differ slightly in meaning, but I include them for comparison.)

"The eighth chapter", "the fifth book", "the second volume", "the fourth page", "the second series" take the definite article. But "chapter eight", "book five", "volume two", "page four", "series two" don't.

You could also have a table in a restaurant called "table 7", or an airport terminal called "terminal 2", a runway called "runway 1", or a gate called "gate 9".

The numeral after the noun causes it to refer to a specific chapter (etc) and causes the definite article to become impossible.

See also: Why do we not use the definite article in "Where can I find the Room 401?"

  • "chapter eight", "book five", "volume two", "page four", "series two", "table 7", "terminal 2", "terminal 2", "gate 9". Good examples. Thanks. (+1) But why did you drop the word book in the sentence?
    – Abbasi
    Oct 27, 2017 at 8:16
  • 1
    We just don't say "novel book". We'd call it either a "novel" or a "book". We'd only say "novel book" if we were using the adjective "novel" (= new, innovative) rather than the noun "novel" (= a work of prose fiction of reasonably great length).
    – rjpond
    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:07

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