Let's say I have a photo of oak in field. I don't know anything about this field. Should I name photo "Oak in field", "Oak in a field" or "Oak in the field" and why ?

  • No, let’s please not say you “have photo of oak in field”. You cannot “have photo” in English, as that is ungrammatical. It’s shy an article or other determiner. Why are you using oak as a mass noun? Shouldn’t that be oak trees instead? And what’s this “in field” bit?
    – tchrist
    Jun 30, 2018 at 23:13
  • @tchrist why having a photo is ungrammatical ? It's my stuff, I have it. How it should be ? There is one oak. Like here: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/35/…
    – R S
    Jun 30, 2018 at 23:27
  • 1
    You said "I have photo". You can't say that. You have to say that you have a photo. And while “Oak in field” might under some circumstances be allowable in “headlinese” as the caption of the photo, you cannot in general say that in English because it doesn’t have an article. Clearly your own language lacks mandatory articles and perhaps even determiners, but English does not work that way.
    – tchrist
    Jul 1, 2018 at 0:11

1 Answer 1


Since we can assume you have not referred to these things before (and you say this is the first time the field has been mentioned), all three nouns take an indefinite article.

I have a photo of an oak in a field.

As for naming the photograph, that's entirely up to you. Some photograph (or painting or statue) names drop articles altogether, others use an indefinite article, and others use the definite article.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .