1

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?

5
  • 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

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.

1

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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