If you don't have any contextual knowledge beforehand about the meanings of these sentences, then what is the difference between them?

  1. I had information that there was an explosion near my school.
  2. I had the information that there was an explosion near my school.

I want to know how "the" affects meanings of sentences in no context like this. I would appreciate it if you would answer my question.

  • 1
    I would say, since "information" is uncountable, there's not much of difference. Maybe, the version with "the" put more emphasis on the explosion-related content of some more general information package.
    – Cardinal
    Aug 3, 2021 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


It's not different than how "the" is used in general. I would say (1) if the fact that there was information was new to the person I was speaking to.

I would not say (2) without any context. I would say it if the information had already been mentioned in the conversation, or the person I was speaking to was already aware of its existence from some other source, and I knew they would understand the reference. If someone said it to me without any prior context, my reaction would be "Huh? What information?" It doesn't make sense without context.

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