I've gone through Cambridge Dictionary grammar tutorial on "A/an and the" and tutorials about Determiners. I guess I understand the rules in them.

From a tutorial (Transcript)

here's some advice for IELTS speaking part two

According to "preparing for IELTS" vs. "preparing for the IELTS", there should be an article when saying something like "for the IELTS". How about "part two"?

I guess I shouldn't use "the" there. According to the rule "No article before determiners"

We don’t use an article with other words that specify a noun (determiner), e.g. any, some, my, her, this, that ...

I love my job. Does she want this book?

The phrase "part two" itself has a similar feature to "my job", "this book". Is my understanding correct?

  • Determiners are words such as articles e.g"the", demonstrative such as "this", possessive pronouns, e.g. "my", and words indicating quantity, e.g. "some". Do you think "part 2" is a determiner?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 3:53

1 Answer 1


When using acronyms like IELTS, sometimes it's a good idea to think about what they actually mean. In this case, it stands for "International English Language Testing System"- a compound noun of which the last noun (system) is a singular countable noun. When used on its own, a determiner is required "for the IELTS".

When you use it to make a new compound noun, for example, "IELTS speaking", then "speaking" becomes the last noun. Speaking is a gerund, which is treated as a non-count noun. For non-count nouns, no determiner is required - "for IELTS speaking".

When we add "part two", it's best to imagine a comma between the compound noun and "part two": it does not affect the construction of the earlier part of the sentence.

If, instead of adding "part two", you were to add "test", "test" becomes the last noun in the compound noun: it is singular and countable, so a determiner is required: "for the IELTS speaking test".

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