2

The resulting rules can be organized hierarchically to share the common rules among the wrappers for the similar websites.

I still don't know if "the"s (bold ones) are applicable or not. I feel when I talk about specific websites which have specific wrappers that have specific common rules, then I can or (must?) use "the", right?

I must add websites are not something that I have said previously but anyway, I am talking about the resulting rules (that are specific) and a subset of these rules (the common rules) are for similar websites, then it may make them specific...

If the sentence is hard to grasp, you can imagine you're speaking about some books, like you say "These books are organized hierarchically to share the common books for the students of the similar fields....", it seems just "the similar" doesn't sound well?

  • 2
    Seems to me that the first and the third of "the"s can be omitted... But I've been wrong more than I care to admit. – Victor Bazarov Sep 16 '15 at 18:04
1

The resulting rules can be organized hierarchically to share the common rules among the wrappers for the similar websites.

It actually depends on the context surrounding this sentence. Just by reading this one alone, I would imagine this version would preserve your meaning while cutting down on "the"s:

The resulting rules can be organized hierarchically to share common rules among wrappers for similar websites.

If you have qualified "wrappers" to be more specific than "wrappers in general" in another place, then you should post the sentence where you have done that, and the prepended "the" to "wrappers" would be appropriate. If you are just trying to refer to all wrappers used by similar websites, then you don't need to use "the."

I believe for "websites," you should either choose one or the other: "similar" or "the," but not use both. "Similar" qualifies "websites" to mean "websites that aren't much different from the website I'm talking about," while "the websites" means "specific websites that I'm talking about." Both used together would mean "specific websites that I'm talking about which aren't much different from the other website that I'm talking about/have mentioned previously." It is tough for me to imagine a situation where the reader would be so confused about which websites you're referring to that they'd need that much specificity. Maybe if you were talking about a bigger set of websites which then needed to be sub-divided into smaller groups (those which are similar and dissimilar)? Other than that, seems unlikely.

Again, the appropriateness of "the common rules" depends on whether or not you're referring to a specific ruleset, or whether you're just trying to say that all rules which are common in general web development can be shared amongst wrappers. If you are not trying to say the latter, then you should probably remove "common," because in what context exactly are the rules common in that case?

None of these things will make your sentence strictly valid or invalid in terms of grammar, but it will change the meaning of your sentence significantly and may not express what you're trying to say properly.

  • Thank you, please check my update. I used "the resulting rules" then they should be specific, then I think the other "the" are caused by this first "the", not? Anyway, "the common rules" are parts of "the resulting rules" and they can make "the wrappers" and maybe for "the similar websites"..... – Ahmad Sep 16 '15 at 19:03
  • If "the common rules" are part of "the resulting rules," then you should make that more clear in your writing. I would have guessed they are entirely separate things based on your original sentence. If "the common rules" are the same thing as "the resulting rules," then you can just use the pronoun "them" for "the common rules." Otherwise if it is a subset, you should say something like "common members" -- readers will understand "member" to mean "members of the resulting rules." – Crazy Eyes Sep 16 '15 at 19:10
  • To answer your other question about using "the" because you've used it previously -- no, that kind of defeats of the purpose of "the," at least within the context of the same sentence. You've clearly specified "the resulting rules," so if you want to refer to "the resulting rules" you can now use a pronoun in close proximity, or simply say "the rules" with no other qualifiers. In other words, you've clearly qualified and specified which rules you're talking about, so you don't need to do it again unless you start talking about some other set of rules. – Crazy Eyes Sep 16 '15 at 19:14
  • I also used "organized hierarchically", that means that the resulting rules are organized in hierarchical groups (subsets) and the common rules are a shared subset in this structure....not? – Ahmad Sep 16 '15 at 19:19
  • That's not apparent from your sentence. There is nothing that tells me that "common" means "common amongst the subsets of rules in the hierarchy," although you just mentioned that hierarchy. It could mean "common to all rules in general" (what kind of rules? this is why interpreting meaning without context is difficult -- if I had more information about the rules we're discussing, I might be able to discern your meaning with less information in this sentence). The fact that you have to explain this to me means that there was a mistake somewhere in communication. – Crazy Eyes Sep 16 '15 at 19:37
1

If you are talking about specific concepts, then you should use the definite article.

But, in some cases some of these instances of the can be replaced with the demonstratives this or these. For instance, you could say as well:

The resulting rules can be organized hierarchically to share the common rules among the wrappers for these similar websites.

How and when one can switch between the article and the demonstrative depends on the context.

1

The resulting rules can be organized hierarchically to share the common rules among the wrappers for the similar websites.

Let's take "common rules" to start with:

In this sentence, when you say "common rules" here, are you talking about a single given "common rules" previously mentioned - perhaps as early as the last sentence? If so, use the.

It would be the same for "wrappers" or "similar websites."

If you mean "common rules" in general - without any reference to something you spoke/wrote about previously, then leave out the the.

  • You can suppose its stands alone, just "the resulting rules" is specific. like you say "These books are organized hierarchically to share the common books for the students of the similar fields...." – Ahmad Sep 17 '15 at 19:39

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.