3

U.S. President Barack Obama looked weary when he responded Thursday to news of yet another mass shooting when he said: "Somehow, this has become routine."

Oregon college shooting won't likely lead to tighter gun control, experts say

Can I put "the" in front of " news" here? If I can, what is the difference?

2

Using "news" and "the news" are both perfectly natural and idiomatic here. The meaning is the same, but there is a very slight difference in emphasis or tone.

"responded to the news of..." emphasizes "news" more, and suggests that "the news" is a single, important thing with which the reader is probably already familiar. For the sentence in question, I think this is actually slightly more appropriate, because of the dramatic, front-page nature of the event.

On the other hand, for more mundane subjects, the article-free version fits slightly better: "Obama did not even bother to respond to news of a small increase in the employment rate announced earlier this week."

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.