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Which sentence is correct, why?

There are countries that think they must follow their own interests by forming an alliance against the US hegemony.

There are countries that think they must follow their own interests by forming an alliance against US hegemony.

I thought like many other things "the US interests", "the US president", "the US policy", it should be "the US hegemony", but someone corrected me that it is "US hegemony". Why is it like that?

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As an adjective, "US" does not require "the". The reason that, for example, "the US president" requires "the" is because there is one president, not because of the use of "US". That is, we are saying "the president", and adding the extra information of the president being the US president.

For most of your examples, we do not require "the" when used generally, or with another determiner (like a possessive). For example:

This interferes with US interests in the Middle East.

US President Richard Nixon was accused of criminal activity.

The US President held a press conference last Tuesday.

Officials are still debating US foreign policy matters.

There was criticism of several US policies last week.

These are all perfectly natural ways to discuss plural, general, or non-count nouns. Generally, you can replace "US" with "Canadian", and the results will be the same. For example, "This intereferes with Canadian interests in the Middle East." Since you wouldn't use "the" in this example, you shouldn't use it with "US", either.

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Both could technically be correct depending on context. Please provide more information for a more accurate answer.

Hegemony can be both plural or singular so the prefix (or lack thereof) is important in providing context.

Sentence 1 implies countries are forming an alliance to compete with a specific US hegemony, although the specificity could be within a single field (trade, defence, space) or an overall "meta-hegemony" inherit in the US being a superpower. It also implies the hegemony is pre-existing or perhaps static/well established.

Sentence 2 could be understood to be the same, but it implies that either the US has multiple hegemonies or perhaps is engaged in the act of developing hegemony. It is less specific.

Without more context/additional info I can't be 100% sure, but I would use sentence 1 when referring to a specific hegemony and sentence 2 when referring to generic/non-specific hegemony.

  • I'm not sure I understand what you mean "hegemony can be both plural or singular". Hegemony is singular and the plural is hegemonies. – stangdon Aug 17 '18 at 13:52
  • Sorry that might be inaccurate on my side, it can have a singular or multiple count. For instance the US might have a single hegemony in a single area of influence, or multiple instances in different areas but still referred to using the singular. It's subtle and splitting hairs but I would use "the" when referring to a single or specific hegemony, and omit "the" when referring to broader or multiple hegemony. – david_c Aug 17 '18 at 13:54
  • Found an example of what I mean - wordhippo.com/what-is/the-plural-of/hegemony.html – david_c Aug 17 '18 at 13:58
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    I don't really buy that WordHippo explanation. It can be uncountable, but it isn't plural. Think of the word "philosophy" - we normally say "I study philosophy", not "philosophies", but that doesn't make it plural. – stangdon Aug 17 '18 at 14:08
  • I study the US philosophy vs I study US philosophy - I would argue they are two different statements. Although I take your point about and will continue to think :) – david_c Aug 17 '18 at 19:08

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