0
  1. Off-the-road (OTR) pneumatic tires are prone to puncture in the extreme environment where big wheel loaders move everything from scrap metal to construction debris to household waste, and often do so around the clock.
  2. Off-the-road (OTR) pneumatic tires are prone to puncture in an extreme environment where big wheel loaders move everything from scrap metal to construction debris to household waste, and often do so around the clock.

Should we opt for 'an' or 'the' ?

  • 1
    In the future, please put text being analyzed in a quote box (this is accomplished with the ">" character on the first line). Also, bold the differences between two versions so that people don't have to hunt for them. – J.R. Aug 24 '18 at 14:16
3

Neither.

prone to puncture in the extreme environments

Reads better to my eye with the reference to big wheel loaders

  • 2
    I agree, but you might want to explain why this is the case. – stangdon Aug 22 '18 at 16:12
1

The statement refers to a specific type of environment -- the kind of extreme environment "where big wheel loaders move everything from scrap metal to construction debris to household waste". That type of environment in often littered with items that are a puncture hazard for the loader's tires. The loader and OTR tires can be used in other environments that pose much less risk of tire puncture.

Since the statement is talking about a specific type of environment, the is appropriate. But let me elaborate, because that isn't the only possible interpretation.

CrossRoads' answer suggests using no article and pluralizing environment. That would also work, but has a different nuance.

The environment focuses on the common, shared characteristic of certain kinds of job sites that contain lots of tire puncture hazards. The specific site-related hazards might be different, and the specific stuff being moved on those job sites is different, but they all puncture tires, so the differences are moot. It's referring to the type of job site that is a tire-puncturing problem.

"Environments" (with no article), implies that each of the example types of job sites have different kinds of hazards that puncture tires, and those differences are important (multiple environments).

So if the point of the statement is that the tires are puncture prone in many different kinds of environments, pluralize "environment" and leave out the article. If the point is that the tires are puncture prone in the kind of environment where the ground is littered with tire puncturing stuff, use "the".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.