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I want to write a company introduction page (or About page) in my website, and start the sentence like the following:

SelfCompany is a company that makes your life better by XXXing...

SelfCompany is the company that makes your life better by XXXing...

However, between the two sentences above, I don't get which article to use.

I know that in general, you use a to talk about what a listener doesn't know yet, or an object that is not stated yet. (BTW is a listener correct here or is the listener or listeners better?)

However, I'm sure that my users already know it is my company to talk about, and he or she wants to know what kind of a company it is.

So which article is the best? Are both correct or is only the one correct?

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    Your first version (with indefinite article a) implies Selfcompany is just one of many companies that make life better. Using the definite article the implies Selfcompany is the only one that does this. This difference arises from the "standard" principle that the references a specific thing known to both speaker and audience and/or previously mentioned in the current conversation. Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 13:04
  • @FumbleFingers, If you posted your comment as an answer, it would be perfect. Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 15:16
  • @Mark Hubbard: I'd be very surprised if this isn't a duplicate. Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 15:53
  • 1
    While looking for ELL duplicates, which like @FumbleFingers I'm fairly certain exist, I came across this ell.stackexchange.com/q/7698 which might be relevant if not a duplicate.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 19:11

1 Answer 1

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FF's comment provided the perfect answer:

Your first version (with indefinite article a) implies Selfcompany is just one of many companies that make life better. Using the definite article the implies Selfcompany is the only one that does this. This difference arises from the "standard" principle that the references a specific thing known to both speaker and audience and/or previously mentioned in the current conversation. – FumbleFingers

However, as an editor I would suggest that you drop the use of "company" altogether, and instead simply write

SelfCompany makes your life better by XXXing.

As you noted, your readers (or listeners) will already know that it is your company. Don't overthink it. (And best wishes on your new endeavor!)

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    What you and @FumbleFingers said, with one caveat: using the in this particular context strikes me as a marketing ploy. In other words, the version with the seems to say: "There may be other companies that try to make your life better by XXXing, but no company does it nearly as well as we do; therefore, we'll be bold and use the definite article."
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 15:40
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    It is "Ace is the place...", not a place, after all @J.R. Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 20:21

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