Which of the following expressions is correct?:

  • The political implications of ...

  • Political implications of ...

Is the The necessary here? When I search the web using Google, in most cases The is used. Here is an Ngram comparison of the two terms:

We can see from this that sentences starting with "The political implications of ... " are, according to these figures, over 10,000% more prevalent than sentences beginning with "Political implications of ... " in printed books available on Google. Why?

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    +1 Good question. Don't understand the close votes. Maybe they don't understand articles very well. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Feb 14 '15 at 22:07
  • Your question had 4 close-votes. I put an Ngram in to illustrate the point. Hope that's OK. If not, feel free to do a roll-back! :-) – Araucaria - Not here any more. Feb 14 '15 at 23:00
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    @Araucaria - Ngrams are case-sensitive. Your Ngram shows that the form with an article is more common at the start of a sentence. Also, I'd be very careful about saying something like "X is 10,000% more prevalent than Y...". Data from Ngrams isn't always reliable – a famous line like Frost's "miles to go before I sleep" can really skew an Ngram's results. That all said, I applaud your efforts to help the O.P. and keep the question open. – J.R. Feb 15 '15 at 12:32
  • @J.R. You're right about Ngrams in general - but wrong about the case sensitivity. The point of this question is surely that phrasal genitives are far more likely (much more than ten times/%10,000 in actual fact) to be definite than indefinite. The question itself does ask about these phrases at the beginning of a sentence, so the case-sensitivity makes the figures more pertinent. The figures shown actually biased against showing the true prevalence of definitely marked phrasal genitives, because the figures without the are not all genitive phrases, and many other forms of definite ... – Araucaria - Not here any more. Feb 15 '15 at 17:38
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    A factor here might be whether this example sentence is in regular text or is in a title (such as in newspaper-ese). Newspaper-ese type of writing will often drop articles for space concerns. – F.E. Feb 15 '15 at 20:09

If we are talking or writing about [plural countable nouns] or [uncountable noun] in general, we (usually) don't use 'the':

Political implications (in general) of corruption (in general) by politicians (in general) include ....

If we are talking about specific [plural countable nouns] or [uncountable noun], we (usually) use 'the':

The (specific) political implications of the (specific) corruption by the (specific) politicians include ...

But it is also possible to mix 'the' and [no 'the']:

The political implications of corruption by politicians include ...

might be talking about the political implications, compared to the legal implications etc.

  • Your first example doesn't sound very good without the before "Political" to my ear ... – Araucaria - Not here any more. Feb 14 '15 at 23:06
  • Note that I said '(usually)' in my answer. Some people might use 'The' in my first example. I wouldn't. – Sydney Feb 15 '15 at 1:25
  • @Sydney How about titles? I mean, in the title of something is The necessary? : The Political Implications of Russell's Thoughts, or without The? – user215721 Feb 15 '15 at 6:20
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    Probably. "Russell's Thoughts" are specific thoughts, but names never have "The", but they lead to specific politic implications, so we would probably use "The". I agree with the 'usual-ness' of "The Political Implications of Russell's Thoughts". – Sydney Feb 15 '15 at 9:00

I think article "the" is neccessary here, because this phrase assumes, that here is exactly political implications and not any else. So, we should use "the".

  • The is only necessary when necessary. It is not always necessary, not even in this phrase. We would need a complete sentence to explain why the is used in the sentence or not. – user6951 Feb 14 '15 at 19:46
  • @δοῦλος Can you give me an example whrer we would not need the, please. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Feb 14 '15 at 21:49
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    "Political implications can be difficult to determine." Using the would make that less general. – Matthew Read Feb 14 '15 at 22:48
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    @MatthewRead Almost old bean, but the OP's question is about The political implications of! The of here makes all the difference (although it's still possible, it's much less likely to have a null determiner with that of there. There's a reason for that!) – Araucaria - Not here any more. Feb 14 '15 at 23:03
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    Political implications of the DWI arrest won't be known for days. No need for a "the" in that one, either. – J.R. Feb 15 '15 at 12:34

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