1

I am wondering if we can omit "the" in the case we want to warn someone against "the use of something?". For example:

On an airplane in some countries, (the) use of any electronic devices is firmly prohibited.

In the classroom, (the) use of electronic devices such as smartphones are unacceptable.

In this case, "the use" of electronic devices is very ambiguous. What I mean is that we don't how what people are going to use the devices for; they can calling, texting, playing games, or even prohibited dangerous stuff. The range is too far for putting the term "the" in the sentence.

That's just my assumption. I am open and forward to hearing from every one in the forum.

1

“The” has nothing to do with what the devices are, or could be used for. “The” applies to the word “use”, and would be used in any other sentence of similar construction.

In your question, this sentence is grammarically incorrect:

In the classroom, (the) use of electronic devices such as smartphones are unacceptable.

This should read: “is unacceptable”. It is the “use” (a singular noun) to which the adjective “unacceptable” applies, and therefore as a singular, we use “is” and not “are”.

A similar sentence, of exactly the same grammatical construction:

(The) use of correct punctuation is important to me.

As to whether the word “the” should be included or not - this is a stylistic issue. The sentence is grammarically correct with or without it.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.