I have a question about the definite article "the". Suppose I posted a question and some commenters commented on it. Now someone else wrote an answer to my question and wants to write something mentioned by the commenters on my question. What would the answerer write?

a) Mentioned by commenters?


b) Mentioned by THE commenters?

b) sounds unnatural to me but also seems correct to me. a) sounds correct but without "the", it may be incorrect. Which one would the answerer write?

Thanks for your help!


The key is in the word "definite." In this case, the answerer would be referring to a specific or defined set of commenters, so they would use "the commenters." However, grammatically, using "commenters" would not be incorrect, just less precise.

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Both are correct, but there is a subtle difference.

“The commenters” means the specific people who have already commented. It is more concrete.

“Commenters” also includes people who may comment in the future. It is more abstract.

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