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I've seen some people use "the" with "quadrotor" whereas other group of people drop the usage of "the". My question is that when should we use "the" with quadrotor? For example, should we add "the" in the following sentence?

Quadrotor is getting more popular in both military and civilian missions.

2 Answers 2

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Quadrotor is getting more popular in both military and civilian missions.

"Quadrotor" is a singular countable noun. A singuar countable noun in English should take either the, a, or some other determiner, like that or this. It should not appear without an article or other determiner before it.

The second thing necessary to consider is reference. "Quadrotor" is your sentence is used in generic reference: we are not talking about some particular flying machine, but rather of the class "quadrotor" without specific reference to a particular quadrotor.

In order to show that we are talking about "quadrotor" in this generic sense, we could use the definite article:

The quadrotor is getting more popular for both military and civilian missions.
(compare) The tiger is a beautiful animal.
(compare) The bull terrier makes an excellent watchdog.

Note that we are not speaking of some particular tiger or some particular bull terrier.

The second way to impart the same generic meaning is by placing "quardotor" in the plural form:

Quadrotors are getting more popular for both military and civilian missions.

Note that if we decide to put the before plural "quadrotors", we would make the reference specific:

The quadrotors are getting more popular. (the reader will assume that the sentence is about some particular group of quadrotors)


Reference:


Related questions:

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Either

The quadrotor is getting more popular for both military and civilian missions.

or

Quadrotors are getting more popular for both military and civilian missions.

will do.

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  • What do you mean by isn't a program?
    – CroCo
    Oct 7, 2015 at 2:50
  • I ran out of words to describe the nuances, will delete those notes. Oct 7, 2015 at 2:53
  • Still this doesn't answer my question. You just added the definite article without further explanation.
    – CroCo
    Oct 7, 2015 at 2:56
  • The answer is that you must either put the article in or change it to plural. ex. "The horse became obsolete as a mode of transportation", or "Horses became obsolete as a mode of transportation.", and NOT "Horse became obsolete as a mode of transportation." because it is glaringly ungrammatical. Oct 7, 2015 at 2:59

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