It is a rule that when a common countable noun is used in general it is preceded by the definite article the as:

The horse runs fast.

Here 'the horse' belongs to all the class of horses of the world. My question is - can this noun be used in general for some specific place, city, country etc., as one of these:

The horse of India usually runs faster.
The Indian horse usually runs faster.

Which of these sentences is right? Or are both right?

  • jasbir, check out: Song of India, on UTUBE. :) – Lambie Apr 5 '18 at 17:33

Indian horses run faster. [general statement, no the]. With or without an adjective.

The Indian horse runs faster. [general statement, formal English, the can be used.]

Just like:

Apples are good for you. [most used] The apple is a fruit that is good for the health. [quite formal]

Please note: The horse of India is not very idiomatic in a general context.

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  • You could say "The horses of India run faster" meaning the specific group of all horses in India run faster. (Although the pedant in me is twitching at all the comparatives missing something to compare to) – james Jan 22 '19 at 17:15
  • @james You could but that usage tends to be for grander things. The sages of Ancient Greece; the sins of the father....I personally would be hard pressed to use: The horses of India....but it is not grammatically wrong, just stylistically awkward....unless you are making some grand pronouncement about them in a speech, for instance. – Lambie Jan 22 '19 at 17:58

The horse of India usually runs faster

The Indian horse usually runs faster

Usually these would indicate the single horse owned by India, however in your case it does mean all horses from India. This construction feels quite dated - although correct, that kind of sentence isn't really used anymore. I would suggest

The horses of India usually run faster

Horses from India usually run faster

Indian horses usually run faster

These feel more modern. Note that the other possibility

The Indian horses usually run faster

Only refers to a certain group of Indian horses, which is not the meaning you are going for.

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  • I would agree that the construct feels rather dated, though one exception might be a nature documentary. Somehow that tone seems like it would fit there: The Indian horse runs exceptionally fast. – J.R. Apr 5 '18 at 14:32
  • @otah007 You are also likely to see India's horse as in England's batsmen or Australia's athletes - although this would only work if there was a single horse from India in the context. – Ronald Sole Apr 5 '18 at 14:51

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