1. The people these days are not interested in avantgarde movies.

  2. People these days are not interested in avantgarde movies.

Is there a difference in the meanings of these sentences?

My impression is that in '1', we are comparing 'the people we have these days' to 'the people of other times'. 'These days' modifies 'the people'. We are comparing the people of these days to other groups of people.

In '2', 'these days' is adverbial. Maybe the same people were interested in avantgarde movies a few years ago.

Would you say I am correct?

  • 3
    I think that you are asking about two different issues. The issue with sentences 1 and 2 concerns the inclusion of "the" (as the title suggests). The issue with sentence 3 is the positioning of "these days" (which is not addressed by the title). I think that this would work better as two separate questions. (Also, did you do any research about the difference between 1 and 2? Your question doesn't actually discuss it.) Jun 17 at 0:07
  • 3
    Saying "the people" is just not idiomatic unless you're explicitly comparing them to some other people, like "the people of China" vs "the people of France". "People these days" is something of an idiomatic phrase that just means "people now".
    – stangdon
    Jun 17 at 0:25
  • 2
    1 vs 2 - Adding the definite article "the" means that you're talking about a specific group of people, whereas number 2 is making a broad statement about all/most people. Jun 17 at 17:49
  • 1
    In my opinion, 2 vs 3 is more about the focus of the sentence. "People these days" emphasizes the time constraint in the sentence and has an implied (unlike in the past) attached to it. So the focus of the sentence is about the change that has occurred. In sentence 3, moving "these days" to the end, de-emphasizes that part. So while you're still adding a time clarification to the sentence, that part is not as important. Instead, the focus is on the fact that people aren't interested now. Jun 17 at 17:52
  • 1
    Are you asking about "the people" vs. "people" or are you asking about where to put "these days" in a sentence? Those are two completely unrelated questions. Please edit your question to focus on one thing only.
    – gotube
    Jun 19 at 20:23


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