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According to practical English usage no article is used with "nature" when it has a general meaning.In my point of view all the times that we use the word "nature" about the physical environment around us ,it some how conveys a general meaning.for example if we are explaining about a specific country that its name has already been mentioned is it ok to say:

come and See the nature,the mountains and the ocean

Or should we say:

see nature,the mountains and the ocean

I would appreciate it if some one explains when the meaning of nature is considered to be general and when it's not.

Can nature conveys a meaning that it's not general when it is used as a synonym for the world around us?!

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Let's look at the two OED definitions of the word "nature".

  1. (mass noun) The phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations. Example: "nature is beautiful"

  2. The basic or inherent features, character, or qualities of something. Examples: "helping them to realize the nature of their problems", "there are a lot of other documents of that nature"

Something important to notice in the second definition is that it's always tied to an "of".

  1. The basic or inherent features, character, or qualities of something. Examples: "helping them to realize the nature of their problems", "there are a lot of other documents of that nature"

The second definition is a characteristic of another noun, whereas the first definition is a standalone noun.

So, to answer your question, your sentence should be:

Come and see nature, the mountains, and the ocean.

because "nature" is referring to the great outdoors, not a characteristic of something else.

Bonus: The phrase "the nature of nature" is legitimate English. The first "nature" is using the second definition, whereas the second "nature" is using the first definition.

  • what you mean is, the can never be used before nature when we are using it as a word to describe the physical environment around us.Am I right? – anonymous Jan 10 '18 at 21:30
  • Yes. "Nature" in that sense is essentially a synonym for "the world around us", so it doesn't really make sense to put "the" before it. – JeezLouise Jan 10 '18 at 22:34
  • I'm not very sure but I feel like I've heard using" the"before nature in some occasions when it was used as a synonym for the world around us.and apart from this in practical English usage it is explaining this rule for nature when it means environment, if it's always something general why does it have to emphasize on having a general meaning? – anonymous Jan 10 '18 at 23:34
  • I'm not sure I understand your question. Could you please clarify? – JeezLouise Jan 11 '18 at 18:28
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For your question you can use either or. If you are speaking of a country and say come see nature, mountains, and the ocean. It basically says come outside and experience nature in general. If you say come see the nature, mountains, and the ocean. It means come see the nature of this specific region.

(native english speaker)

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    the one without the word "the" emphasizes the nature of the world. The one with the word "the" emphasizes the nature of the region" – Ryan Fowler Jan 10 '18 at 21:38
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    You can edit your answer at any time. You don't need to comment on your own answer except as a response to another comment. Also it's generally unnecessary to say you're a native speaker, as that's not really relevant to forming a good, properly sourced answer. – Andrew Jan 10 '18 at 22:36

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