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Do I need to use the definite article in the following instance?

(R&A stands for a company, CA122 - an item name)

We`d like to cancel the order for the R&A CA122.

  • That is not a sentence, and therefore we cannot assume what you want to say - ultimately, we do not know if the article is correct or not. Please edit the answer and provide the full sentence. – virolino Apr 1 at 13:23
  • It's all a bit flexible. As a rule of thumb, the more we think of [item name] a representing an actual physical object - as opposed to primarily being [an instantiation of] a concept or technology - the more we're likely to include an article. For a referent that kinda spans both associations, consider Amazon Alexa (where the article is normally included when referencing the physical product, but it's not so likely to be included when referencing it as the embodiment of a technology. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 1 at 13:39
  • @virolino why do you say that the example isn't a full sentence. It looks like one to me? – David Siegel May 3 at 23:37
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It's all a bit flexible. As a rule of thumb, the more we think of [item name] a representing an actual physical object - as opposed to primarily being [an instantiation of] a concept or technology - the more we're likely to include an article. For a referent that kinda spans both associations, consider Amazon Alexa (where the article is normally included when referencing the physical product, but it's not so likely to be included when referencing it as the embodiment of a technology. – FumbleFingers

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We'd like to cancel the order for the Acme model 2850.

I would use "the" before acme here whether a 2850 is a bicycle or a piece of software or a service contract. It is the specific thing that was ordered. Even when not referring to the proeprties of the item generally I would still often use an article:

The Acme 2850 databas is much more reliable than the Zorro 3410.

But not always:

Acme 2850 is an excellent value.

But one could also say:

The Acme 2850 is an excellent value.

Of course it isn't always a definite article:

I just got an Acme 2850, ant it is really great.

I had to set up some Acme 2850s, and it was a tricky job.

(By the way, do not use "Acme 2850's" as a plural, that should only be used for a possesive form. Many people get this wrong.)

When using a fully generic term, an article can be omitted:

  • Lasers have a wide variety of uses.
  • Databases improved business operations.
  • Bicycles allow messengers to cover much more ground in an hour.

This is true whether the thing is physical or not, in my view.

By the way

We`d like to cancel the order for the R&A CA122.

is a complete sentence, although what a CA122 is would need context.

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