I noticed the following statement to correct the sentence in an university question paper.

"My mother reads Ramayana every morning."


"My mother reads Bible every morning"

Is there anything wrong with the above sentence?

The above statement looked perfectly fine for me.

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    It's perfectly good English, equivalent to reads the Bible, although some might question whether it means the whole of the epic poem or just parts of it. Apr 22, 2018 at 8:44
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    so addition of "the" could the only possible correction!. Thank you!
    – Jamess
    Apr 22, 2018 at 8:55
  • That's the only possibility that I can see. At the same time, many other sources would not require the: My mother reads Pride and Prejudice every morning - which again could refer to the whole book (most unlikely in practice) or just parts of it. Apr 22, 2018 at 8:59

2 Answers 2


The tense of the verb ('reads') is appropriate for an action habitually performed. In English texts, the article 'the' is frequently used before the title of the work. Using the definite article 'the' before the title of a sacred or revered work (a "holy book") is common: the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Vedas, the Tripitaka etc. Also certain widely known books or works, e.g. the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the A-Z Road Atlas of London, the Canterbury Tales.

The Ramayana originated in north India as an oral epic poem, performed with musical accompaniment and dance. Written, illustrated manuscripts of the poem were later produced from Pakistan to Indonesia. This means that the Ramayana has expressions in oral performance, dance, music, literature, and illustration.


The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic which follows Prince Rama's quest to rescue his beloved wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana with the help of an army of monkeys. It is traditionally attributed to the authorship of the sage Valmiki and dated to around 500 BCE to 100 BCE.

Quick guide to the Ramayana - The British Library www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/whatson/exhibitions/ramayana/guide.html

  • FYI you can edit your own answer, which is better than adding a comment, especially if the comment is not a response to another comment.
    – Andrew
    Apr 22, 2018 at 10:45

I think it would be fair to say that the phrase reads Bible refers to the generic practice, similar to "makes dinner", whereas reads the Bible refers to "the Bible" specifically.

He reads Bible as every good Christian should.

When she is feeling especially anxious, she takes a Xanax and reads the Bible.


"We enjoy reading side by side and read Bible together out loud each night but don’t generally enjoy reading aloud to one another other than that."

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    "He reads Bible as every good Christian should." I am sure that such a usage is vanishingly rare, if it exists at all, and a native speaker would invariably say or write "he reads the Bible". You could say "he is a regular Bible reader". To be generic, one might say "he reads Scripture". Apr 22, 2018 at 11:12
  • @Michael Harvey: How are you so sure of that Michael? Your profile doesn't say where you're from. books.google.com/… Kindly remove your downvote, if it's yours. This locution is used by people who refer to the practice qua practice.
    – TimR
    Apr 22, 2018 at 11:57
  • Tᴚoɯɐuo, that Google Book to which you linked is riddled with poor English, especially missing and misused articles ("read Bible", "the God", etc) and reads like poorly transcribed notes. It is barely literate and is scarcely a reliable support for the assertion you seem to be making. Apr 22, 2018 at 12:14
  • @Michael Harvey: See the other quote I've added. This is not an uncommon locution among fundamentalist and evangelical Christians in the US. It is referring to the practice, not to the book.
    – TimR
    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:24
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    I have to say that I'm a native US English speaker, and I've never heard anyone say "read Bible". However, I don't spend a lot of time among fundamentalist Christians. If it's a use exclusive to them, the answer should say so; for most of us it's always "read the Bible".
    – stangdon
    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:26

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