While practicing the usage of the English articles, I encountered the following exercises:
- There was a collision between a car and a cyclist at the crossroads near - my house early in the
morning. The cyclist was taken to - hospital with a concussion. The driver of the . car was treated for -
-witnesses say that the car was going at - seventy miles an hour.
In the placed marked as a quote, the answer key suggests zero article as to indicate that the witnesses are indefinite although I guess it is fair to say that the contexts points out that there was an accident and these witnesses must be the witnesses of the accident, not some random witnesses. Another kettle of fish would be if the sentence mentioned merely their existence as in the following:
There were witnesses who claimed to have seen the accident.
Here I could understand that the sentence just introduces the fact to the hearer that there were SOME witnesses who had seen the accident.
Therefore, I have been racking my brain why the author claims that the version with "zero" article is correct? Am I missing the point somewhere?
The excerpt is taken from: A Practical English Grammar Exercises 1 A.J. Thomson, A.V. Martinet