I always try to understan when I can use the word "the" and when I cannot. As I understand, I must not use it many times in one sentence. However, sometimes I read that it is Ok. I really would like to understand the correct way to use "the" many times in my sentence.

Here is my try:

The flexibility of the model depends on the number and the type of the variables and on the dimensions of the data.

Is using "the" in my sentence correct?

1 Answer 1


You must use "the" as many times as it is needed!

In your sentence, it is not needed before "type" because "number and type" can be treated as single noun phrase, so "the number and type" means the same as "the number and the type". You can't omit the other occurrences of "the" without changing the meaning.

Sometimes a different determiner can be chosen, which can enliven the prose, but slightly change the meaning:

The flexibility of this model...on the dimensions of my data.

  • Thank you so much for your helpful answer. For "the number and type" "as single noun pharase" is that because they describe the same thing "variable" in my question?
    – F.Thomas
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 8:49
  • Yes. You can also say, for example, "The men and women are here." It would mean the same as "The men and the women are here."
    – James K
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 9:01
  • This is a good answer. You may feel that it's odd to use "the" so many times in a single sentence, but I assure you a native speaker only notices when they are incorrectly absent.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 19:08

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