Let me start with a few examples (I wrote all of them myself so they might have a few mistakes in them):
Before you begin the questioning part of the procedure, make sure that the interviewee feels calm.
However, start-ups can be a bit different in their structure. Having workers that are passionate about a product or an idea that the start-up develops allows you to have diffused boundaries and roles with fewer detriments and certain benefits to balance them out.
If a reading task is conceptually harder and there are increased cognitive demands on the reader, then increasing the font size might lead to better outcomes.
The therapist should have a separate social media account or/and a phone number to give to their clients.
Now what would happen with these sentences semantically, if I changed the highlighted articles there (switched them with 'a')? For example,
- Before you begin the questioning part of the procedure, make sure that an interviewee feels calm.
Would it ever work? Would it work in other examples? These definite articles, as I understand, are used to pinpoint 'your average guy' (like a concept), or anyone who might be in these circumstances (any interviewee). In some cases, like in the therapist example, I feel that both can work interchangeably with no difference in meaning. But then with some other examples I'm not that sure. For example, the reader and also the interviewee examples. It seems to me that without 'the' it would detach the reader from the text that is being mentioned (or the interviewee from the process) - these do no seem that equivalent. I can understand them both, but the 'the' ones sound better. Not sure why and I'm probably wrong anyway.
Can someone help me understand how my sentences would differ in terms of their meaning if I changed every highlighted article to 'a'? Would some of them be just wrong?
I have a suspicion that my sentences might fall under different rules and categories, so sorry about bunching them all together. But for me, in a way, they all refer to the same idea - these are generic/non-specific nouns that use the definite article.