1. The Nature of Software

  2. Nature of Software

This would be the title of a blog and I do not know what are the slight differences between the two.

  • 4
    With no determiner or qualification, Nature means the natural world, the physical universe. The nature of something means its fundamental or essential quality. Mar 8, 2014 at 20:35
  • The same would be true for words like essence and character. You would probably want to include the in the title of a blog using those words, too, such as The Essence of Engineering or The Character of the Programmer.
    – J.R.
    Mar 8, 2014 at 23:51
  • Thank you all for the answer! @StoneyB What does "the natural world, the physical universe" mean in case of software? Could you please tell me an example? Or in case of software, without the determiner/qualification it does not mean anything? Mar 12, 2014 at 17:16
  • That's just the point: "Nature of Software" is on its face meaningless--though I suppose a Philosopher of Software could make it mean something! Mar 12, 2014 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


Exactly what StoneyB says, with no determiner/qualification, it would mean the natural world and with the, it refers to the fundamental quality.

I'll add a little bit to this - when it comes to the title, the authors are quite flexible in grammar rules. I have read several titles without definite/indefinite articles though they all required.

I'm not sure but see the titles here, here and here.

  • 2
    That flexibility stems in part from the fact that a title is a title, not a complete sentence. Not all grammatical rules apply.
    – J.R.
    Mar 9, 2014 at 12:01

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