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Seating capacity in the cinema is for approximately 1,400 people. The interior of the theater was remodeled during the period of the late 1940s to early 1950s. (from Wikipedia)

Why 'the' is not used in first sentence, while it is used in the second?

  • it's still unclear... where do you see the 'seating capacity' getting repeated? – Maulik V Dec 22 '15 at 7:57
  • Why there is an article before interior, but none before seating capacity. – Mohan Dec 22 '15 at 7:59
  • I've seen articles getting dropped in the beginning of the sentence especially in news. Call it a style, maybe? – Maulik V Dec 22 '15 at 8:40
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    I have looked at the article and conclude that the way it is written IS idiomatic. It is not simply a headline abbreviation. As a native speaker it does seem reasonable to elide the article here, but not before interior. I find it difficult to rationalise why that is the case. I think it may be because capacity is not a count noun. This could be an interesting question to take to ELU. I would suggest you try posting it there. If you would like me to do so, please confirm. – WS2 Dec 22 '15 at 9:20
  • It is a very interesting and pertinent question which you raise +1. – WS2 Dec 22 '15 at 9:27
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When we have an abstract or generic noun:

music instruction

seating capacity

singing lessons

and we're not speaking of an instance of such, as in "the singing lessons she gives on M-W-F afternoons versus those she gives on T-Th", there is no call for a determiner; it is sufficient to identify the noun with a modifier that provides its type or class:

music instruction

seating capacity

singing lessons

In effect, the modifier is acting as a determiner.

We determine an abstract or generic noun by identifying a type of it. We determine a concrete noun by indicating whether we mean any noun of its type (a dog) or a particular instance (the dog) or one that is near at hand (this dog) or farther away (that dog) or some subset of its class (few dogs).

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