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I read a sentence from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demand:

Demand for a specific item is a function of an item's perceived necessity, price, perceived quality, convenience, available alternatives, purchasers' disposable income and tastes, and many other factors.

Why is it not "The demand for a specific item..."? I have seen phrases like "the quantity of a good".

Demand is the quantity of a good that consumers are willing and able to purchase at various prices during a given period of time.

Are both forms correct? If so, what is the difference between with the and without the?

Does “the” often refer to the word immediately after it or does it sometimes refer to the phrase after it, not the single word? What does “the” do in “the construction of a new house” and “ the theory of relativity”?

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    To my ear, both forms are correct, and there is no difference in meaning in that context. Jan 19, 2021 at 9:45
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    @JackO'Flaherty How is there no change of meaning when "the" is used? Can you please provide some other examples?
    – TFR
    Jan 19, 2021 at 10:07
  • Well if you want other examples you could insert the before available or purchasers' in that sentence without change of meaning.
    – mdewey
    Jan 19, 2021 at 10:58
  • How about in this sentence: "If the demand curve is linear, then it has the form: p = a - bq, where p is the price of the good and q is the quantity demanded." Can I rewrite the sentence like "If the demand curve is linear, then it has the form: p = a - bq, where p is price of the good and q is demand." The rewrited sentence looks flat wrong to me though.
    – TFR
    Jan 19, 2021 at 11:01
  • Can I also write the second sentence as "Demand is quantity of a good that consumers are willing and able to purchase at various prices during a given period of time."
    – TFR
    Jan 19, 2021 at 11:42

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