The following sentence is from the novel Armada by Ernest Cline:

..., the computer spoke in a perpetually calm, synthesized female voice that I found unnerving in the heat of battle.

Can somebody explain why the author doesn't use the article 'a' before the word battle. Wouldn't "in the heat of a battle" be more correct since not a specific battle is meant?

1 Answer 1


No, it would not be more correct.

"Battle" can be used without an article in the same way that other general situations can be used, such as "war", or "confusion", or "tumult", to refer to the general type of situation which is happening (i.e. battle in general, like war in general), without needing to use an article to refer to one.

"The heat of battle" is also a common expression.

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