"He treats his dog as property."


"He treats his dog as a property."

I suspect that the former is correct, is it?

  • treat his dog as property is correct. You could also say "He treats his dog as a piece of property." – katatahito Jun 14 '19 at 7:19
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    The first is better; the second would imply he's treating the dog as a house. I think it would sound more natural to use "his" though - "He treats the dog as his property." "He treats his wife as his property." – Showsni Jun 14 '19 at 11:09
  • You could use the latter in context. Although the article would still sound odd, it wouldn't necessarily be wrong. The tics treat his dog as a property. In that case, the tics are small enough to actually inhabit the dog. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jun 14 '19 at 16:03

Property can be a count noun, but in this sense it is not, so as a property doesn't make sense.

You could say

He treats his dog as property.

but it is much more natural to say

He treats his dog as his property.


A property in a non-legal context would lean toward meaning "real property" - something like a house, building, or section of land.

It would be rare to treat a dog like a house or real state, so you would say "He treats his dog as property."

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