Do I need to use "the" in the following sentence?

Here goes:

"we need the consistency of performance."

What I saw is that usually "the" is dropped before the word, but I cannot get a handle why. The word "performance" modifies the word "consistency" so I think the article is necessary.

Tell me please if I am wrong.

1 Answer 1


Abstract nouns such as "consistency", "beauty", "quality" normally don't take an article, unless we are talking about a specific instance.

So if we were reviewing a particular show or concert we might talk about "the consistency of this performance" or "the consistency of the performance"; if we are talking about an actor's prowess we might say "the consistency of his performance" (even if we are not meaning a single performance, we have still specified it to that actor).

But if we are talking in general, we would say "consistency of performance".

There is not always a clear distinction, and in some cases it is possible with or without an article.

[I've just realised, rereading your post, that it probably relates to performance at work rather than artistic performance, but my reply still works.]

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