From Chemguide:

Both of these terms matter, but the fall in lattice enthalpy is the more important. This falls because the ions are getting bigger.

Shouldn't it be either "is the more important one/of the two" or simply "is more important"?

This use of the definite article without any noun or pronoun seems strange.

  • 4
    No. We can say "the more important of the two [aforementioned things]" but we don't need to add "of the two". The antecedent pair is understood. All forms occur often enough. Your choice. X is more important. X is the more important. X is the more important of the two.
    – TimR
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 18:54
  • 1
    @TRomano You should write an answer.
    – user3169
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 20:08
  • @TRomano - I concur with User3169 Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 4:11

2 Answers 2


The alternatives you provide may be more common, but the text's use of is the more important is also correct.

It can be seen as an ellison of the word term.


Having the phrase both of these terms, we understand that there are two terms compared.The more important is a comparative used instead of a superlative.You use a superlative without a noun (That boy is the tallest. Or that boy is the taller).

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