Is it correct to say:

The school has strong ties with industry.

Should the definite article precede "industry"?

In order to make this question more clear: I think there's a couple of things at issue that I would like to ask about, beyond merely the specificity of industry. I understand that "industry" can be both a count noun and a non-count noun. So to say "ties with industry" means "industry" is used uncountably. But then when is it a count noun when noncount?

Also, if "industry" is preceded by the definite article to refer to a particular industry, does it mean it is countable? Macmillan says so. All this being said, if a business school puts a line in a blurb, should it say:

The school has strong ties with industry.


The school has strong ties with the industry.

If that was a comment about a research university that has diverse academic disciplines, should it include the definite article?

1 Answer 1


I find much of your question incomprehensible, but

The school has strong ties to the industry is not meaningful unless the preceding context makes clear what industry is being referenced. So this sentence cannot be said to be correct or incorrect if judged in isolation.

The school has strong ties to industry means that the school has strong ties to many industries.

Whether a sentence is correct does not depend solely on grammatical form; it often depends on context or intent or both in addition to grammatical form.

  • Part of my question is my research that shows when used with the definite article, "industry" is a count noun, without, noncount. Therefore I deem the question beyond specificity. I understand your point about context and intent, and I tried to include in my question context where the sentence would be used.
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 23:20
  • @Deansue - The question here is really the same for any noun, and whether you mean industry in general, or the industry that we are specifically talking about right now.
    – stangdon
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 13:34

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