I've noticed that some native English speakers I work with refer to our client simply as 'client', without using the article 'the', even when the client is known and specific to both the speaker and listener. For example, they might say 'I had a call with client today' instead of 'I had a call with the client today'. Can anyone explain the reason behind this usage?

  • Are they from Yorkshire?! Some English dialects drop "the" in situations like this, but for English in general it would be "the client".
    – ralph.m
    Mar 30, 2023 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


It sounds like abbreviated language that is particular to your business. A 'shorthand' style of recording client activity is very common for the purpose of note-taking, but it surprises me a little that people are saying it out loud. However, if one person in the workplace uses a particular set of jargon you find that everybody else often imitates it and it soon becomes standard.

Some businesses use the term customer, others client. In IT support, clients are sometimes called users (as in 'end user' of a machine). You might have noticed that persons asking questions here on Stack Exchange like yourself are sometimes referred to as 'OP' (original poster) and commonly written without an article (perhaps less so here on English site).

  • 1
    We write things like 'Clt will visit 15:00 31/3' in informal notes where I work, and might say the word 'client' in full without any preceding article, but, as you say it is very terse, informal and workplace-specific. Mar 29, 2023 at 19:12

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