Do I need any determiners in the sentence below in general statement?

Strong winds destroy homes.

Is it ok to say in English in specific situation?

The strong wind destroyed the homes in North Carolina.

I mean mostly the determiners in this sentence.


Both sentences are correct, but their meanings are different.

In the first sentence, you're simply stating a fact. You're saying that destroying homes is what strong winds do. There's no reference to specific winds or specific homes in that sentence.

In your second sentence, however, you're referring to a specific event. A wind that you previously mentiond in the text or that is clear from the context (the strong wind) has destroyed the homes in North Carolina. In this sentence, you're not saying that this is what all strong winds do. You're simply referring to an event that has occurred.

  • A by-the-way question. Would "The strong wind destroyed North Carolina homes." be the exact equivalent? Thanks. – Victor Bazarov Aug 27 '15 at 20:11
  • No, it wouldn't. The homes in North Carolina implies that all homes were destroyed. Without the definite article, North Carolina homes would imply that not all, but a certain amount of the homes in North Carolina were destroyed. – Sander Aug 27 '15 at 20:14
  • 1
    @Sander I'd say that the homes in NC implies a previously identified group of homes in NC, distinguished from a previously identified set of homes not in NC or from a superset of homes both in NC and elsewhere. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 27 '15 at 21:13
  • @StoneyB Yes, but if the group has not yet been identified, wouldn't it sound as though all of the houses were destroyed? – Sander Aug 27 '15 at 21:18
  • 2
    @Sander, I disagree. the homes in NC implies a previously identified group, not all. – Azor Ahai Aug 27 '15 at 21:41

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.