I can't decide whether to use the in these sentences.

[The] white chalk rock underground has formed beautiful hills and valleys.
[The] grassland has a lot of flowering plants.
[The] coastline has a lot of wondeful beaches and cliffs.


1 Answer 1


If you are talking about a particular something then the should be used, otherwise the pluralised nouns (in your case) would be more general

The grassland to the east has a lot of flowering plants. (specific)

Grasslands have lots of flowering plants. (general)

If you use the with the plural, the listener will expect you to describe which grasslands (again being specific when using the)

The grasslands of the Serengeti

  • 'The grassland' or 'the grasslands' are both grammatical. For example, "They raise cattle on the grassland, and sow the other half in wheat and forage for the herd." (source). "Annual rainfall in the grasslands is between 10 to 30 inches..." (source). When to use a definite article is much more complex than your answer suggests.
    – ColleenV
    Feb 23, 2016 at 2:58

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