Supposed that I already stated earlier that it was raining for while and I gave a good description of how it looked like. Now, I am wondering if I can use Rain without any articles so that only the general idea of raining is conveyed?

Once rain was down to drizzle, I decided to move on.

I also, searched the internet and it seems for the new status of the weather, an indefinite article is usually used. So, if my sentence is wrong without any article preceding drizzle?

  • The basic problem here is that English articles aren't optional. Omitting the article doesn't just omit the meaning of the article, it has its own meaning.
    – Anonymous
    Apr 28, 2019 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


You shouldn't eliminate them. Typically the articles before rain and drizzle are necessary, because it's a specific instance of rain/drizzle that is causing your decision in the rest of the sentence.

Once the rain was down to a drizzle, I decided to move on.

The fact that you've described the rain doesn't necessarily allow you to eliminate the article. If you walked into a kitchen and described the table in great detail, it still wouldn't be grammatical to say "I sat at table." Just as the table you're sitting at is a specific table, the rain you're experiencing is a specific instance of rain.

You can eliminate the article when you're talking generally, as in

  • "Rain is necessary for healthy plants."
  • "I hate rain."
  • "Rain turns into snow below a certain temperature."

Drizzle also needs an article in your sentence, and it should be "a" like the following example:

Once the kitten had turned into a cat, he was no longer cute.

  • Using "the cat" would cause confusion, because it would imply that the specific kitten had turned into a different specific cat.

I'm adding a caveat here to say that with some particular words, and in some more poetic writing, it is sometimes alright to drop the articles.

  • "Spring turned into summer" is acceptable and fairly common, as is "Night became day"

  • If you were attempting to be poetic, you could possibly invoke those common phrases and say "Rain turned to drizzle, and I decided to move on." But with the verbs you use in your original sentence, it doesn't sound poetic--it sounds incorrect.

  • Hello, I specifically said that I already gave a description for the rain; and based on my education, I must use the definite article in such cases. I myslef am aware of this general rule of thumb, but I meant even though I already talked about the rain, I want to convey the general or abstract connotation of rain. Is that wrong?
    – Cardinal
    Apr 28, 2019 at 22:49
  • 2
    @Cardinal Yes. If you're experiencing the rain and it's having an effect on your behavior, it's not an abstract connotation. It's a physical thing, and it's a particular instance of that physical thing.
    – Katy
    Apr 28, 2019 at 23:07
  • Nitpicking: instead of "You probably shouldn't eliminate them.", "You can't eliminate them.". And instead of "The fact that you've described the rain doesn't necessarily allow you to eliminate the article.", how about "Since you've mentioned the rain already, it requires a definite article."?
    – Anonymous
    Apr 28, 2019 at 23:59
  • 1
    @Anonymous Because of the caveat about poetic language that I mentioned at the end, I don't believe a blanket statement is accurate.
    – Katy
    Apr 29, 2019 at 0:01
  • @Katy Yup, exactly I was talking about a more flavored style of writing like poetic language.
    – Cardinal
    Apr 29, 2019 at 4:15

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