In the following sentence, do I need an article before "external influence"?

The juvenile being more vulnerable to (an?) external influence such as numerous marketing campaigns tend to be captured by their materialistic longings.

If the article is needed, could you please explain the reason? I'm a bit confused with determining whether "influence" is countable or uncountable here.

  • 1
    Since you use their, juveniles needs to be plural. It's up to you whether you consider influence to be uncountable, or 'marketing campaigns' to be one of a number of influences. Mar 6, 2021 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


The main problem is the use of "their" to mean "his or her". Because it's commonly used for plurals it seems to refer to the marketing campaigns.

I would suggest making influence plural. This would avoid the need for an article.

Then we could re-organize it a bit:

The materialistic longings of juveniles make them more vulnerable to external influences such as (the numerous) marketing campaigns.

"numerous" is a bit weak. Leave it out maybe? Or say "the ever-present marketing campaigns", or "the ubiquitous marketing campaigns" perhaps?

You could keep "juvenile" singular and say:

The juvenile, being more vulnerable to such external influences as the ever-present marketing campaigns, tends to be easily enticed due to his/her materialistic longings.

but remember not to use "their".

Do you think "enticed" or "ensnared" might be better than "captured"?

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