A quote from Reuters:

"The agreement was ratified by parliament," Borislav Stefanovic, a senior party official, told the Beta news agency.

Why is there no definite article before parliament? Is that OK?

  • Two things - That's the 'quote' i.e. someone 'said' it and secondly, the speaker is probably Russian! :P In short, should it have been spoken by some native speaker or the sentence was from some reputed daily, it must have had it!
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 6:35
  • The quoted official is Serbian, and I guess it is a translation from Serbian. That hardly justifies snubbing articles though. (0: Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 6:41
  • Russian does not use articles at all. Serbian is also a Slavic language, and may also not use articles. I'm not familiar with it, so I don't know.
    – lea
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 7:43
  • Yes, I know, Iea, that's the reason articles give me headaches sometimes. (0: But Reuters says the official was speaking to a Serbian news agency. I guess the quote is a translation. I understand why it could've been omitted but still I wonder would it be a mistake to omit the definite article there, purely from the grammar standpoint. Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 7:54
  • Most of the speakers (especially non-native) don't bother grammar in their speeches/statements until it conveys the message what they want to convey!
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


Google's n-gram viewer shows that both uses are possible. However, I would spell them differently:

  1. The agreement was ratified by Parliament.
  2. The agreement was ratified by the parliament.

In 1, "Parliament" is used as a proper noun and hence it doesn't admit the definite article "the". In 2, "parliament" is used as a common noun and hence the definite article "the" is necessary to indicate that the speaker expects us to know what parliament they are referring to.


IMO, the word 'parliament' requires the definite article the. That's because Borislav Stefanovic is talking about a particular parliament that ratified the agreement.

As I said in my comments, why the article isn't there could be due to two reasons. It is, after all, a quote i.e. someone said it in a colloquial style. And secondly, it's spoken by a non-native speaker.

So, grammatically yes, it does require the definite article.

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