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I'd like to understand if there should always be no article before nouns followed by a number, like in the following examples:

  • The train arrives at platform 5.
  • The flight departs from gate 7.

In my native language, we don't have articles and it is unclear for me to understand why they are not used here. In the example about the train, we a talking about a particular platform at a particular train station. Is it always the case when I talking about some numbered nouns: page 5, house 7, platform 7, etc?

I did some research but I couldn't find explanations for my case. Here is what I found:

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  • 1
    Yes, it is always the case with a noun identified by a number. We say the first page but page 2, the first gate on the left but gate [number] 7. Apr 18 at 15:23
  • 1
    This may be helpful: english.stackexchange.com/questions/339614/… Apr 18 at 15:38
  • The "why" question is hard to answer. The vast majority of native speakers could not tell you why; we simply learn that that's the way it is, and if, as children, we ask our parents why, they will either admit they don't know or make up a half-baked explanation. The link from Ronald Sole looks useful, though.
    – rjpond
    Apr 18 at 15:41
  • It's notable that with a lot of these we tend to use capitals ("Volume 2", "Chapter 3", "Episode 10", "Room 211", etc). But with "page 12", a capital is rare. So we should not conclude that the structure transforms the noun into a proper noun.
    – rjpond
    Apr 18 at 15:45
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    You should focus on understanding exactly what a determiner is. In your context, the numbers 5 and 7 are determiners, which is why we don't need to include an article (another determiner). Apr 18 at 16:15
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Summary answer quoting comments from @fumblefingers, @ronald-sole and @kate-bunting.

Yes, it is always the case with a noun identified by a number.

Concise explanation to understand the reason of that:

You should focus on understanding exactly what a determiner is. In your context, the numbers 5 and 7 are determiners, which is why we don't need to include an article (another determiner).

Detailed answer can be found at https://english.stackexchange.com/a/339647/420906.

Other examples:

  • weeks 31 and 32
  • columns A and B
  • team members Alice and Bob
  • operations Charlie and Delta

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