The importance of global media appears to increase year after year, so much so there have been calls to introduce news channels into the classroom.

The words above start a sample essay said to be error-free. Is the usage of the correct before classroom? It's clear that classroom doesn't refer to a particular one, so how can this usage be right?

[plus, any comprehensive reference on articles is highly welcome.]


Yes, the wording is correct.

In this case, the phrase into the classroom is an expression meaning into the educational environment.

The Atlantic used the same phrase in a similar way in its article entitled Bringing Twitter to the Classroom (published Sep 15 2014). In fact, a Google search for "into the classroom" shows many similar results, such as Using Humor in the Classroom and Bringing Nature into the Classroom.

News channels wouldn't be pumped into one particular classroom, but into classrooms across the country. It's not referring to any particular classroom; it's referring to classrooms in general. In a similar way, we might say that we are "bringing iPads to the dugout" – not referring to one particular dugout, but to managerial positions all across baseball. The word "the" can be used like that (see my previous answer here for more examples, along with a lighthearted explanation as to why you are confused).

  • ;Thank you for your helpful reply. A further point, please: Bob plays the piano is mentioned in your answer., but i'd like to learn why is it correct, but Bob likes the apple is not? Isn't apple, too, generalized, here? – Itsme Nov 11 '14 at 22:21
  • 2
    It's a strange convention. The best way to think about the usage of "the" shown in your question and in this answer is more like a turn of phrase or figurative expression. "The piano" in that context has become a common phrase because it was quite common in the 20th century for American households to have a piano, and it was always one piano. Hence, colloquially, "Bob plays the piano" would refer to the one piano in the house, but became an expression that means "performs music well on a piano," and was expanded to be used with any instrument. – Crazy Eyes Nov 11 '14 at 22:40
  • 2
    On another note about "the classroom," the speaker is referring to the concept of a classroom, not an actual classroom. That is why "the" is appropriate there. – Crazy Eyes Nov 11 '14 at 22:42
  • 1
    @CrazyEyes - I'm not sure I agree with your explanation about the piano. After all, we also say, "Suzie plays the oboe, and Rob plays the French horn," even though those instruments were never common household items. We do agree, though, that it's a strange convention. To the O.P.: We can use the with apple in a generic sense ("The apple grows in cooler climes," e.g.); however, when talking about someone's tastes, we usually pluralize it, which negates the need for an article: Bob likes apples. – J.R. Nov 11 '14 at 22:52
  • 2
    @CrazyEyes we do use the definite article when it is about musical instrument and scientific/electronic invention. – Maulik V Nov 12 '14 at 4:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.