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I have been told that the following sentence should be corrected as follows:

Original sentence

  • In a world of increasing environmental awareness, governments around the world face the decision of how much money should be allocated to the protection of wild animals

Corrected sentence

  • In a world of increasing environmental awareness, governments around the world face a decision regarding how much money should be allocated to the protection of wild animals

What is the original sentence wrong?

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    It is impossible to tell you the rationale that someone else had when they told you to change your sentence. – user6951 Dec 23 '14 at 11:03
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'The' is often used when there is one ('the sun') (or one group ('the stars')). Your original sentence could be interpreted that there is one (and only one) decision facing governments regarding this issue. The 'corrected' sentence could be interpreted that there are many possible decisions facing governments regarding this issue.

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    What I meant is that between all the decisions that governments face I am specifically referring to the one that regards this specific issue – Robbo Dec 23 '14 at 23:16
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The original sentence is not wrong.

And the definite article certainly means what you want it to signify: [among] all the decisions that governments face I am specifically referring to the one that regards this specific issue. Logically, then, you would use the.

Here is an example:

Each government faces the decision whether to dollarize or not.

Source.

Just google the web for "government faces the decision". Make sure to include the quotation marks. Then show all those examples to whoever told you to make that "correction". :)

And again, I prefer the first sentence. That is, I prefer the definite article here simply because it is definite. It is kind of equivalant to 'that decision that everyone knows must be made'.

By contrast, the indefinite article weakens the importance of 'the' decision.

A decision is like saying 'any decision' or 'any old decision.' It doesn't matter what decision the government makes as long as they make a decision. And that to me weakens the statement and the importance of the decision.

This is a simplification. But there is a definite difference in meaning between the and a and if you want a stronger sentence, because you want to talk about the decision that everybody knows has to be made, use the.

Articles are tough to get hold of, and their use is extremely difficult to explain. But you seem to have a good grasp of what you want to say and why you want to use the definite article, and I support that usage.

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