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When talking about local schools and how students study can I use the articles in the following way?

  1. "A student studies 10 to 12 subjects." (Removed "the")

  2. (Removed the)"Students start their first class at 8:45".

3.(Removed the)"Students are in the same classroom all day."

  1. "A/the (not "the") teacher goes from one classroom to another at the start and end of a class (not "the class"), not the students."

  2. (The removed)"Students stand up for the teacher, when the teacher leaves the classroom, the students talk with their classmates."

  3. (The removed)"Students have luch in their classroom."

"The removed" and not "the" means I am not going to use them.

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    You haven't given the full context for any of these utterances. Are all of them supposed to be "the same" context? That's to say - is there one specific group of students being referred to each time? Or are you talking about "students in general"? Just a single example with exact context and intended meaning would be easier to answer here. Oct 25, 2021 at 17:28
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    Having said that, all permutations of [The] Pupils must be quiet when a / the teacher enters a / the classroom are syntactically valid, and would probably all mean the same thing (but the initial article before Pupils is idiomatically unlikely). Oct 25, 2021 at 17:32
  • @FumbleFingers yes, I wrote it as a whole text but divided into sentences, but yes, I am talking about students and teachers in general. That's the context. Oct 25, 2021 at 17:45
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    As FumbleFingers says. If these sentences are to be consecutive, the word they might be available. There's more to fix than the articles. Oct 25, 2021 at 17:45
  • @Old Brixtonian, could you tell me please what needs to be fixed? Oct 25, 2021 at 18:04

1 Answer 1

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In most of these examples the definite article "the" can be included or omitted with no significant change in meaning. In a few i am unsure of your intent.

(1) A student studies 10 to 12 subjects.

I do not see how "the" would be plausible in (1). writing "the student" would be incorrect unless context had previously established that a specific student was being discussed.

In the case of (4) there are several possibilities suggested by the example, all of which are valid:

  • A teacher goes from one classroom to another at the start and end of a class, not the students. (fine)
  • The teacher goes from one classroom to another at the start and end of a class, not the students. (OK if a specific teacher is meant, including an unnamed generic teacher)
  • A teacher goes from one classroom to another at the start and end of the class, not the students. (OK but I would prefer "a class")
  • The teacher goes from one classroom to another at the start and end of the class, not the students. (As above)

The expression: A/the (not "the") at the start of (4)is a bit confusing to me.

(5) Students stand up for the teacher, when the teacher leaves the classroom, the students talk with their classmates."

The use of articles in (5) is fine, but it might be better split into two sentences. Perhaps:

(5) Students stand up for the teacher when the teacher leaves the classroom. After the teacher leaves the students talk with their classmates.

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    @Antonia A Yes you can use "the" with an unnamed generic teacher. However if these senteces are to form a single text, the usage should be consistent throughout. Don't switch back and forth between "a teacher" and 'the teacher" unless there is a difference of meaning intended. On the @ usage, when you comment on an answer, the user who posted that answer is automatically notified even with no app, and if you add an @ for that user it vanishes to show that it was not needed. I found that confusing at first. Oct 25, 2021 at 18:55
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    @Antonia Is there more than 1 teacher, and each teacher goes from room to room? If so the 4th sentence "The teacher goes from..." is in my view confusing if not wrong. I would write it as 'Teachers go from..." with a plural noun and no article. Also "They stand up for the teacher and when the teacher leaves the classroom" doesn't make it clear if the students stand when the teacher arrives, leaves, or at some other time. Also the students standing and the students talking are two different thoughts, and I think it would be better writing if the last sentence were split into 2 sentences. Oct 25, 2021 at 19:20
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    @Antonia When talking about the high school i would use "teachers" then. Or one could write "Each teacher". Since readers may not be familiar with the custom of students standing for the teacher, i would suggest being explicit that the students stand both when the teacher arrives and when s/he leaves, as you were in the comment above. Oct 25, 2021 at 19:38
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    @Antonia Either "in their classroom" (referring to a particular or typical gerup) or "in their classrooms" (referring to all students) would be ok, and if all students follow the same pattern, the meaning is much the same. In "after [their] classes they go home" the word 'their" can be included or omitted with no change of meaning. Oct 25, 2021 at 19:48
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    @Antonia Yes "The" works where there is only one person or group, or where a particular person or group has previously been singled out. One can single out a generic person with a line such as "Let us consider a typical teacher. The teacher would ..." Oct 26, 2021 at 13:32

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