Assume in a text we have two vectors v and z. Each vector contains m elements. Which one is correct:

1- " the vector v contains ..."

2- " vector v contains ..."

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    We'd need a full context (complete sentence, plus some indication of what text came before it) to give a definitive answer on this point. But for most purposes it's probably sufficient to say the article is optional in such constructions (but most people probably wouldn't include it). Jun 27, 2016 at 17:36
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  • More context is needed. #1 would be used at the beginning or possibly middle of a sentence, and #2 might be used in the middle of a sentence.
    – Peter
    Jun 27, 2016 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


You would, in most cases, not use "the" in this example. That is because "vector v" is a unique object of which there is not more that one. Because it is unique, it doesn't need articles to distinguish it from a crowd (that crowd doesn't exist). You can still use "the" if you wanted to, but most people would not. If the vector did not have a specific indicator (like the name "v" given to this one), then the articles would apply, as a vector can take on many different forms and properties.

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