Why isn't there an article before conflict in the following sentence?

Difference in the pronouncement leads to conflict.

  • 2
    I've no idea what "Difference in the pronouncement" is supposed to mean but Political differences can lead to conflict is perfectly natural and comprehensible. Note that when used like this, conflict (and SOME directly replaceable alternatives such as war, struggle, dispute,...) can optionally be preceded by the indefinite article. This slightly changes the meaning by making it more of a "generic" statement, but for most purposes it's just a stylistic choice. Also note that for many similar words (quarrel, squabble,...) you MUST include the article... Jan 24, 2021 at 16:57
  • and for other alternatives (strife, antagonism,...) you CAN'T include the article Jan 24, 2021 at 16:59
  • What if I use the article 'a' before it?
    – jai durga
    Feb 5, 2021 at 15:35
  • I still have no idea what "Difference in the pronouncement" is supposed to mean. And you haven't edited your question to clarify that point, so I can't say whether including "a" before "it" would make any difference. And I don't even know what you mean by "it" there! Do you mean before the word difference, or before the word conflict? But PLEASE - before you answer THAT question, explain what "Difference in the pronouncement" is supposed to mean, otherwise I don't think this question is acceptable for this site. Feb 5, 2021 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


It's referring to the general concept of conflict, rather than the specific one.

You could say "leads to a conflict" or similar, but in doing so you're making a more specific statement about what sort of conflict it leads to. Maybe it's a petty conflict, maybe it's a major one. Maybe it's several years of conflict (see again no article there).

Leaving the article out allows you to be more circumspect.

  • For specificity, we use the article 'the'. You said if I put 'a' before conflict, it would be specific. How ?
    – jai durga
    Feb 5, 2021 at 15:19
  • @jaidurga In the sense that you are referring to one specific conflict rather than conflict in general.
    – elliotcm
    Feb 13, 2021 at 14:10

"conflict" can be countable or uncountable. Countable and Uncountable Nouns

The biggest conflict of the 20th century was World War II. (countable)

Conflict between countries can escalate into war. (uncountable)

In your rather cryptic sentence we can demonstrate the difference.

Difference in the pronouncement leads to conflict. (uncountable)

Difference in the pronouncement leads to many conflicts. (countable)

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