I've found a sentence:

February is the second month of the year.

And a little bit confused, why do in English it is correct to put "the" before the word "year" in this sentence when we do not mention specific year, we just in general say that Feb has the second position in the year cycle.

1 Answer 1


'Year' being a common noun, you typically need some sort of article. You could just as well say:

February is the second month of any year


February is the second month of this year

But as you correctly point out, what's being discussed is the relatively reliable annual cycle. You could say that we are talking about the prototypical year, the cycle that applies to all the years of a given calendar system.

I hope this helps.

  • So there is a grammar rule that you always must put some article before a common noun?
    – turik97
    Sep 11, 2019 at 6:25
  • @turik97 It's more appropriate to think of month as being the noun the article is in front of here, not year. (And second is an adjective.) It's also not true that any or this are articles; in the example sentences, they are adjectives. Note that even a preposition without anything else would work in a different construction: It's that time of year again. Specifying a rule about a common noun is very misleading. So, this answer is actually incorrect on several levels. Sep 12, 2019 at 2:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .