I saw a quote by Lao Tzu that inserted "the" in the following. Is it correct?

Note that most versions do not contain "the."

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.

I'd appreciate your help.


Yes, this is acceptable usage. The "the" in this case changes the sentence to mean "the world is beyond [the concept of] winning." As in, winning is no longer possible.

  • If the intended meaning is "You cannot win the world if you try too hard,' can "the" be used? In other words, does "The world is beyond winning" mean the world cannot be won? – Apollyon Feb 16 at 3:52
  • Yes - "the world is beyond winning" means the world cannot be won. "the world is beyond THE winning" means the same thing. I think my original answer was confusing and I've edited it to be more clear. – Maygan Lightstone Feb 16 at 4:04
  • I don't know why "the" is needed to express a concept. Do we say "Henry is interested in the singing"? – Apollyon Feb 16 at 6:00

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