I would like to understand why sometimes the indefinite article is used, I thought that the whole name, the concept is "the Turing machine". In texts, I often see it used as a regular noun (the first mention is with "a", then with "the"]. We do not say "a Newton Theory of Gravity",as far as I know. What is the difference then?

We may think of a Turing machine as a...


We used Fourier analysis to evaluate the

Why here "analysis" does not need an article?

Can it be because we regarding the machine, can talk about a specific instance? But even then I would say we still talk about the concept, which is still the same.

  • Great question! However, your title doesn’t seem to match your question. Could you edit it so that it matches? Apr 21, 2020 at 11:14
  • @Fivesideddice Thanks, done. I also clarified in the text so that it matches better.
    – John V
    Apr 21, 2020 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


The word "analysis" can be either a countable or an uncountable noun. When used in an uncountable sense, it doesn't require an article.

"Machine" is a countable noun. It's true that "Turing machine" is an abstract concept and a mathematical model of computation. Grammatically, however, "machine" sounds strange without an article. To make it uncountable, we'd have to say "Turing machinery" but no one says that.

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