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The thirsty children drank up all the water.

Is it all right to use define article the with water as in above sentence ? I feel it would have been better without it as water here is used in general sense.

  • These questions might be helpful: The rule of definite article “the”, Water doesn't run or the water doesn't run – ColleenV Nov 3 '17 at 15:28
  • @ColleenV Did you edit your comment ? About half an hour ago when you commented the links, on clicking it I was redirected to a post in which the OP was having discussion with his sister but when I was going through that post my phone's battery died and now I can't see that post's link. – user212388 Nov 3 '17 at 16:16
  • I pasted the wrong link. Sorry, I thought I caught it fast enough. The other link was tagged with definite-article, so you may be able to find it again by limiting your search to that tag. – ColleenV Nov 3 '17 at 17:44
  • I think this is it ell.stackexchange.com/q/117962 – ColleenV Nov 3 '17 at 17:47
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Not only is it OK to use the article the, you must use it here. Why? Because we are discussing a specific quantity or amount of water that the children drank.

Saying "The children drank up all water" actually doesn't make very much sense in English, because it's unclear. All water what? All water in existence?

Yes, you can say both "The children drank water" and "The children drank the water", but there is a slight difference in meaning:

  • The children drank water: they drank some unspecified water.
  • The children drank the water: they drank a specific quantity or kind of water that we referred to earlier.

But in your example, if they drank up all of it, it must have been all of some specific, known quantity.

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