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When people come to a new place, they need to respect the customs of locals

When people come to a new place, they need to respect the customs of the locals

When people come to a new place, they need to respect the customs of the local

Since I have mentioned the place where the "locals" live, should I use article "the" here? Another question, should I use the local instead of the locals? And if so, is there any big difference in meaning?

  • The phrase is more usually "local customs". So "they should respect local customs" without an article. – Weather Vane Aug 10 '19 at 11:42
  • thank you for your suggestion Weather, I just think of one example on the spot since what I want to ask is the article and its uses – Goodie Good Aug 10 '19 at 11:43
  • The use of articles is probably described in grammars better than I can explain. – Weather Vane Aug 10 '19 at 11:51
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If you aren't using 'local customs' then I would suggest:

'When people come to a new place, they need to respect the customs of local people.'

There is nothing grammatically wrong with:

'When people come to a new place, they need to respect the customs of the local people.'

However there is no need for the addition of the definite article (the), and it makes the sentence sound less fluid. It would tend to make me think that the speaker was foreign, rather than a native speaker.

The problem is the use of 'the' twice in quick succession - many people tend to avoid using the same word too frequently or close together if they can. One reason is that it can be perceived as indicative of a lack of vocabularly.

Alan.

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    Native speaker dissenting here. I would not omit the. Repetition of words only matters with content words, not structure words like the for which there is no substitute. – Anton Sherwood Aug 10 '19 at 23:06

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