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Is it wrong to say "we can help you build the company"?

I understand that it makes more sense to say "we can help you build your company", but is it grammatically wrong to use the first sentence?

The context: We are a service provider and in one of the social media communication, the language we used was:

"With future-ready services, xyz helps you upscale the company"

(xyz being the name of our company). Someone commented that it's wrong to use "the company" and should have been "your company". Though I understand the comment, I was just curious if "the company" is grammatically or contextually wrong.

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  • upscale the company ain't great. The verb is scale up something.
    – Lambie
    Oct 3, 2022 at 15:36

2 Answers 2

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While both versions have good grammar, only the version with "your company" is correct in that context.

When you say [ "the" + noun ], it means the noun has already been referred to and it's clear what it is from the previous context. If that sentence is the whole context, it's not clear enough which company you're referring to to use "the company".

And since you mention XYZ company in that same sentence, the reader's best guess is that "XYZ company helps you upscale XYZ company".

Using "your company" makes it clear.

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In the context you have added for your example, "your company" seems best. When you refer to anything using the definite article it is expected that the audience recognise the unique thing referred to. For example, if you referred to "the King" they would have to know which king you are referring to (there are a few in the world!). Likewise, with no prior reference to a particular company, you need to say "your company" to identify it. There are also sound sales and marketing reasons why an advertisement would do this - they want the reader to feel it is personal.

"The company" isn't wrong, but would be used in different contexts. When you refer to "the company", it would have to be clear which company you meant, so the use of this could depend on how you have previously spoke about it.

An interesting thing about true 'companies' as opposed to just 'businesses' is that they are an entity of their own. This can be an important legal distinction. For example, in the UK, a registered company has limited liability, which in simple terms means that its assets and debts are completely removed from any person that runs it. That said, a sole director of a company doubtless still thinks of the company as belonging to them, so "your company" would not be inappropriate.

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