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I have a question about the usage of 'a' and 'the' in English. I know that the rules depend on countable/non-countable nouns and general/specific nouns. Like described in this tutorial and in other questions in the Stack Exchange.

However, in real life I see some instances where I except to see an 'a' or a 'the' but they are not used. These are some examples:

- Shipment has left seller facility and is in transit to carrier
___________________^____________________________________^_______


- Tendered to local postal carrier for final delivery
_____________^________________________^______________


- This fridge is shared space.
________________^____________


- The best revenge is massive success.
_____________________^_______________


- I go to college.
_________^________

When exactly am I supposed to use 'a' and 'the'?

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Your first three examples don't need articles because they appear to be orders, the kind you would see on signs. Sign English is often abbreviated and does not necessarily follow the rule that a sentence must have a subject, a verb, and an object.

  1. Shipment has left seller facility and is in transit to carrier
  2. Tendered to local postal carrier for final delivery
  3. This fridge is shared space.

You could change them to plain English by adding articles if you want, and as I'm sure you know, the definite article (the) is used before a noun to indicate that the identity of the noun is known to the reader; the indefinite article (a, an) is used before a noun that is general or when its identity is not known. In example 1, you must know which seller you bought from, so it would be a specific seller, therefore "the seller". However, there is more than just articles omitted - example 2 begins with a verb, and doesn't say what has been tendered, so you'd have to do a lot more than just add in the articles to make them grammatical. As signage, they are fine as they are.

The last two examples are plain English, but there are also fine and don't require articles.

  1. The best revenge is massive success.

"Success" doesn't need an article. You can refer to a success, which would be a specific event, but when someone is successful in general (eg "they have had success in life") there is no article used.

  1. I go to college.

"College" can refer to a specific building or institution, in which instance you can say "I go to a college", but the same word also refers to college-level education and we idiomatically say "I go to college" the same as "I go to school", or "I go to work".

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