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Is using "the" repeatedly a bad style or considered bad in writing?

The bus loses control and falls from the bridge. The bus falls in the lake, and then the entire bus sinks into the lake.

Assume I already mentioned the bus and the lake in my writing. Now, do I need all of those "the" in my above sentence?

1 Answer 1

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Rewrite the sentence:

The bus loses control, falls from the bridge into the lake, and then sinks to the bottom.

or

The bus loses control. It falls from the bridge into the lake. Slowly, it sinks to the bottom.

These are only two possibilities. There are many others.

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  • I know I can rewrite the sentence as you did. But my question was removing the word 'the' even in the places where it's natural to put. Like below sentences. "Alex just stares down and squeezes the meat out of a crab leg." to "Alex just stares down and squeezes meat out of a crab leg."
    – T2E
    May 26, 2013 at 9:18
  • Bill, can we rewrite the piece as follow "The bus, after having lost the control, did fall in the lake where was completely eaten"?
    – user114
    May 26, 2013 at 9:38
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    @Carlo_R.: No, that S is grammatically incorrect. You can write it like this, though: "The bus, after having lost control, fell into the lake, where it was completely swallowed." It's still a strange sentence. It might require "by the water" to make sense. The after having lost control feels awkward to me: it should probably be "The bus, after it lost control, fell into the lake,..."
    – user264
    May 26, 2013 at 10:49
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    @T2E: It's not always possible to delete the definite article. Where it's natural to put it, it's usually required, but, as in this new sentence, it may also be optional. In the original S, none of the definite articles can be eliminated: they're all required, so you need every one of them: The bus loses control and falls from the bridge. The bus falls into the lake, and then the entire bus sinks into the lake. Delete one of them, & the S becomes ungrammatical because it sinks to the level of telegraphic English.
    – user264
    May 26, 2013 at 10:56

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