2

From Chemguide:

In each case, a halogen higher in the Group can oxidise the ions of one lower down. For example, chlorine can oxidise the bromide ions (in, for example, potassium bromide solution) to bromine.

Can we omit the here, or does the parenthetical phrase force the use of the definite article before bromide ions?

My edit without the:

In each case, a halogen higher in the Group can oxidise the ions of one lower down. For example, chlorine can oxidise bromide ions (in, for example, potassium bromide solution) to bromine.

Is this okay? Or will such parenthetical phrase always force the use of the where it otherwise could\would have been omitted?


P.S. After posting the question, I read further, and there's a sentence right after the quoted one:

As you have seen above, chlorine can also oxidise iodide ions (in, for example, potassium iodide solution) to iodine.

Here, there's no the before "iodide ions". So the use of the appears to be in free varation. Even if a parenthetical construction allows one to use the, the definite article still could be omitted. Am I right?

Or maybe the use of the definite article here is unrelated to the content of the parentheses?

  • 2
    I'm a chemist. You're right the "the" is superfluous. – MaxW Feb 11 '16 at 7:04
2

The the in your first example is not necessary but is helpful if the writer is referring to a mixture of different ions or a specific example

oxidize the bromide ions in the solution

not using the

oxidize bromide ions

is a general statement about a general chemical reaction

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.