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I am struggling a bit with when I need to use a/an/the before adjective followed by a noun. I understand the rules for articles in general but I discovered that this particular case is always confusing me. For example, I wrote a sentence:

The key to successful business development in this industry is understanding the market from regional perspective as Canada is a large country with different local dynamics.

Do I need articles before "successful", "regional", and "different"? It doesn't sound right to me. Another example is:

The proof of their success is evident in acquisition interest by larger players and ongoing creation of smaller companies by their former employees.

Do I need articles before "acquisition", "larger", and "smaller"?

Thank you very much for the help!

  • 1
    @Dodecaphone It could be migrated to ELL. – haykam Apr 24 '16 at 23:36
  • That's true, @Peanut. At which time it would be great if Vlad were already familiar with the other site. I was guessing he might have seen some helpful answers on ELU and decided to create an account without even being aware of ELL. (Maybe that would have been a more pertinent question in my comment?) Meanwhile, I didn't think I could give the answer the question needed here. – Dodecaphone Apr 25 '16 at 5:41
  • Oh dear. In that case, @sumelic, what would be the recommendation for someone who doesn't yet have the necessary reputation to vote for migration? Sounds like it might actually be to take no action at all and let more-experienced users intervene? – Dodecaphone Apr 25 '16 at 18:34
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Here are your two sentences with the correct use of articles, and I've tried to explain my reasoning afterwards. In fact, I only added the indefinite article "a" to "regional perspective" and the rest was already correct.

The key to successful business development in this industry is understanding the market from a regional perspective as Canada is a large country with different local dynamics.

The proof of their success is evident in acquisition interest by larger players and ongoing creation of smaller companies by their former employees.


Successful business development: —Takes no article, because "development" is not a count noun.

Regional perspective: —Takes the article "a" because you're talking about understanding something from "a perspective" and "perspective" is countable (ie, your perspective, 3 different perspectives, etc.)

Different local dynamics: —Takes no article, because "dynamics" despite being a count noun, is plural and indefinite. If you were referring to specific dynamics, however, you might say something like "The business dynamics in Ontario in the 90s...".

Acquisition interest: —Takes no article because interest is a mass noun in this context (interest in general as opposed to "my interests in art").

Larger Players: —Takes no article, because "players," despite being a count noun, is plural and indefinite. Unless you were talking about specific players (ie., comparing the larger players to the smaller players)

Smaller Companies: —Same as "players"... takes no article for the same reasons.

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    It would nice to know why I've been downvoted? Thanks! – Aethon Apr 24 '16 at 22:29
  • Updated to add more information – Aethon Apr 24 '16 at 22:59

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