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I've got this sentence I struggle a bit with.

After all, the game is always evolving and our developers do pay attention to (the) balance and (the) feedback the players provide.

Given that the sentence is about a specific game, am I correct in my assessment that 'the' in brackets should be added? In the first case, the implication is that devs care about the game's balance and not just abstract balance as an entity. In the second case, I honestly cannot explain the usage of 'the', but it seems more natural to me.

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    They’re speaking about the concepts of balance and feedback, not any particular balance or feedback, so a zero article fits.
    – StephenS
    Aug 31 '20 at 0:33
  • Why not? It's the state of this particular game and the feedback regarding it, not the concepts. I don't think anyone cares if developers respect balance as a concept. Aug 31 '20 at 2:02
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It's fine to omit the articles in this sentence because the context of the sentence tells the reader that we're not talking about abstract concepts of balance, but balance in this particular game.

Even in the absence of the articles you've added in brackets, few if any readers will assume the sentence is referring to balance in the abstract and not in the specific context of the game. In many languages we tend to omit information in order to speak or write more succinctly, and we tend to do this particularly when context clues will provide the missing info.

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    In that case, would the opposite be true as well - is it fine to add the articles? For me personally, 'the' before 'balance' sounds a little bit better since the developers cannot 'pay attention' to the concept. It's way easier for me to omit the article in case of something like 'Our devs value game balance above everything else'. Aug 31 '20 at 2:26
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    Yes, it's fine to add the articles. In this sentence it sounds fine—I would say "the balance and feedback" rather than "the balance and the feedback". It sounds more natural to me. Excessive use of articles can make for awkward writing, good to omit them when possible. Interesting how with that last example sentence you give there, adding an article makes it sound really clunky and unnatural compared with the alternative: "Our devs value the game balance above everything else." Your question has taught me something about article usage! Aug 31 '20 at 3:17

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