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1) The eggs you bought are out of date.
2) Eggs that you bought are out of date.

Can we tell that the second example implies that some eggs are still good to eat? And the first means all the eggs are out of date.

Does this pattern work every time we apply it?

3) The money which he has is a byproduct of his business.
4) Money which he has is a byproduct of his business.

If so, the fourth means some of the money might be made due to another form of income.

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  • [the money he has comes from his business. Money is not a by-product.]
    – Lambie
    Dec 21 '19 at 20:42
  • Example (2) needs to be "Some eggs..." In general use an article or other qualifier, although that can tend to over-use by a language learner. That's not bad, just a process of "too little", "too much" ... "just right" when articles are not used in their native language in the same way. Dec 21 '19 at 20:45
  • @Lambie If your primary concern is to serve your customer, money might be a by-product, right? That's just a sentence for example. Dec 21 '19 at 22:00
  • ''Harry was knocked off his feet, and Hedwig’s cage bounced onto the shiny floor, and she rolled away, shrieking indignantly; people (2) all around them stared and a guard nearby yelled.'' Here we have no qualifier before the plural noun ''people''. And so we know not everyone stared, don't we? Dec 21 '19 at 22:15
  • @ThroughTheWonders not really, because the lack of the qualifier is a more ambiguous case than with a qualifier.
    – barbecue
    Dec 21 '19 at 22:53
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1) The eggs you bought are out of date means all the eggs are out of date.
2) Eggs that you bought are out of date doesn't make clear whether some or all are out of date.
3) The money which he has is a byproduct of his business means all that money is a byproduct of his business.
4) Money which he has is a byproduct of his business doesn't make it clear whether some or all of it is a byproduct of his business. This is not a very colloquial sentence, though acceptable in a context like: "He has hardly any money. Money which he has is a byproduct of his business".

I agree with Lambie: money is not (or is hardly ever) a by-product.

I don't think you necessarily need an article or a determiner. It depends on the context.

When
    Eggs that you bought are out of date
    Students you taught are all third-rate 
    Things that you wrought are not that great
    Fiends whom you thwarted procreate...
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  • I still wonder why Astralbee said that ''Eggs'' without the definite article is ungrammatical. Why can't I say ''People who attended the party were funny'' meaning not everyone was funny, but of the twenty who was there eighteen were funny and the other two weren't. Dec 30 '19 at 19:31
  • @Through The Wonders -- You'd better ask him! I would simply say that "People who attended the party were funny" is not how we say 'not everyone...was funny.' You CAN say it, but it's not a useful thing to say! It doesn't say anything interesting. If we want to say "Not everyone was funny", we say, "Not everyone was funny." If your sentence began, "Some people..." or "Most people..." it would tell us something. There are many grammatically correct but nonetheless pointless thing to say. As I said, "Eggs that you bought are out of date" doesn't make clear whether some or all are out of date. Dec 31 '19 at 0:28
  • Let's say I'm a clumsy person and I fell down while jogging. Could I say "People around me stared and laughed as I tried to get back on my feet" on the assumption that the pain from the fall was so intense that I failed to notice how many people stared? I have to be ambiguous because I simply don't know. Dec 31 '19 at 21:39
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"Eggs" needs an article or a determiner. As the definite article, "the eggs" points to specific eggs that were bought - likely ones that have just been bought. Your example without it is ungrammatical, but you get the idea if I said "I have bought eggs which were out of date" - it could point to eggs I just bought, or an occasion where I bought eggs years ago. You need to specify which eggs. If all of them of off, use "the eggs"; it not all of them are off, use "some eggs".

The same reasoning goes for "money", although there are some idiomatic ways that "money" is used that "eggs" aren't - for example, "I have eggs" means you have some eggs; whereas "I have money" can be taken at face value, or imply that you have a considerable amount of it. Still, if you are referring to specific money, you need a determiner. I would say "some of his money...". You could emphasise the ratio of his business money by saying "most of", or minimise it by saying "part of..."

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  • People around me stared / The people around me stared. Does the first example mean that not every person around stared? Dec 21 '19 at 21:53
  • 1
    @ThroughTheWonders it doesn't really mean that NOT everyone stared, it just means that how many stared is ambiguous. We know it's at least two, because people is plural, but it could be just some, or many, or all. As with the eggs example, it's more ambiguous. Note there's no specific mathematical or logical formula for this, it's more of an impression given by the usage. Saying "the people" implies that either all of them or at least a majority of them stared. Saying "people" just means at least some of them stared. It could be some, or most, or all. It implies some uncertainty.
    – barbecue
    Dec 21 '19 at 22:51

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