In “Objective IELTS” by M. Black (Teacher’s book) the word sales is used without articles, e.g.: “In the first quarter, sales of the new “Flying Boots” were …” “… while sales of “Zed Runners”…” et c. (from a sample essay on trainers sales). Is it wrong?

  • It's just the generic use of "sales" rather then the definite use. – BillJ Jul 3 '18 at 18:30
  • 3
    No worse than "cats are mammals" -- the determiner 'all' is implied. All sales of ... ('all' is a definite quantifier) – amI Jul 3 '18 at 18:33

Not all nouns require articles in English. Specifically, when one is referring to a class of things (in this example, sales) no article is required; the noun is being used as though it were a mass (uncountable; non-count) noun. To the extent that there's an implicit quantifier, it's context-dependent but usually one of "all", "most", or a specifier such as "the relevant".

  • So, the use of the definite article in this case would be a mistake, wouldn't it? – Zak Jul 4 '18 at 16:32
  • It would, yes. At least, it works be a mistake to attach it to "sales". The example uses the definite article in 'the new "Flying Boots"', and that's fine, of course. – Darael Jul 4 '18 at 16:35

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