Questions tagged [generic-noun-phrases]

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Why are articles used differently with words like 'evening', 'morning', etc.?

Usually, 'the' is used when talking about something specific. Not in these cases I watched TV in the evening. means evening in general, not some specific evening necessarily. We had a barbecue on ...
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2answers
35 views

Can we use nouns or pronouns other than "you" to create a scenario that might occur?

I often see texts like Example 1 that create an scenario that might occur. But they are often written with "You." My question is: "Can we write using other nouns or pronouns like ...
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1answer
139 views

Question on generic noun phrase

I was looking at the definition of definite article and it reads like this - "The definite article is used before singular and plural nouns when the noun is specific or particular". Since this ...
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0answers
25 views

The Italians and Italians

I just wanted to confirm if I am right. While when you generically refer to the people, you often say 'the Italians,' you also say just 'Italians' without the definite article, correct? The Italians ...
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2answers
272 views

"The roar of a lion" : Why do we use the definite article "the"?

"The roar of a lion can reach 114 decibels at a distance of 1 metre, and can be heard from 8 kilometers (5 miles) away." Why do we need the definite article here instead of the indefinite counterpart ...
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1answer
247 views

Definite article in generic reference

All the grammar books that I have consulted state quite clearly that the definite article can be used in generic reference with singular count nouns, as in the following examples: The elephant is a ...
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4answers
45k views

Do you say "I like apple" or "I like apples"?

When stating a general fact/preference on countable nouns, singular or plural is more suitable and natural? Example 1 : I like apple. or I like apples. Example 2: I like eating apple. or I like ...
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1answer
621 views

What's the difference between "the city" and "a city"?

Here is what I've learned: "I like living in a city." This sounds like it doesn't matter which city I live in -- any one will do. "I like living in the city." This is a more ...
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1answer
25 views

"I like living in the small town" or "I like living in a small town"?

She likes living in the country. He likes living in the city. "I like living in the small town" or "I like living in a small town"? I have no problem with the first two ...
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1answer
242 views

Why is the definite article "the" used before some dances and with others not? [duplicate]

I crossed with two sentences: Tango is a partner dance and social dance that originated in the 1880s along to the Río de la Plata. How to dance the Tango. So, I got very confused because the ...
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2answers
34 views

How do I fit all this information into one single noun phrase?

I need to refer generically to people who meet the following criteria (and I need to include all the information in one single noun phrase): they have at least part-time employment they have ...
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1answer
34k views

The confusion between "The" or "A" article

I was reading about articles in Wren & Martin and found the following explanation: 1)Use the definite article when a singular noun is meant to express a whole class. The cow is a useful ...
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1answer
38 views

Usage of 'a' and 'the'

I have a question about the usage of 'a' and 'the' in English. I know that the rules depend on countable/non-countable nouns and general/specific nouns. Like described in this tutorial and in other ...
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2answers
8k views

Cats drink milk vs Cat drinks milk

Both "Cats drink milk" and "Cat drinks milk" indicate generality, but is there any difference between them? Or when there is preference to one than the other?
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2answers
124 views

If I explain a certain word, should I put the definite article?

If someone asks me what some loan word stands for, should I put the article in front of it? ex.: What's the meaning of Gon? Gon is an animal which lives under the sea Or The Gon is an ...
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1answer
54 views

In a day on Mars vs In the day on Mars

On Mars, you'll get extra time in the day to do the things you want to do--like sleep in! Martian days are about half an hour longer than Earth days. But that's nothing compared to the extra time you'...
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1answer
803 views

generic or specific reference

My question is how can I decide wheather a noun is a generic or specific one? I know all the rules but still one thing confuses me. For example: "According to the linguist (mentioned before) ...
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1answer
546 views

How to refer back to the just mentioned subject?

I wrote: Syntactic parsing is a basic task in natural language processing and the grammar plays a crucial role in this ??. First I would like to know how to fill the gap (??). I thought of "...
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1answer
3k views

Uses of the definite article (the) in generic noun phrases

I was reading a paragraph about lions and I came up with a question about the definite article (the). Let me tell you first what I know about it. 1->We use the before a singular noun (when we are ...
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1answer
63 views

usages of singular and plural nouns

When I was learning English, I came across the sentence below. A typhoon is a tropical cyclone. This usage of the singular noun doesn't fit me because there are no necessities to use singular or ...
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2answers
555 views

The totem pole can be grouped into

Does the following makes sense, with "the totem pole" referring to totem poles in general? The totem pole can be grouped into specific categories, depending on its location and the occasion for ...
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2answers
3k views

Is "Mango is my favourite fruit" grammatically correct? Should it instead be "mangoes" or "the mango"?

Mango is my favourite fruit. Is this grammatically correct. I saw somewhere that mangoes or the mango should come. But couldn't understand the reason.
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1answer
53 views

The vs An (Comparing for most appropriate.)

The average person knows 25000 words. Vs An average person knows 25000 words. I find the latter more appropriate, but the former is what I read almost everywhere. Does anyone have a coherent ...
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2answers
660 views

In the sentence of concern, should I use the plural form of the noun?

If you like a song, and you think it's catchy, could you say this? Songs don't get much catchier than this. My concern is the plural songs, when people say things similar to Life can't/doesn't ...
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6answers
663 views

A maine coon is a type of cat

I am confused about the usage of the word "type". Take the following for example: A maine coon is a type of cat. which most people believe is correct standard English. But, dictionary ...
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3answers
1k views

Can I say "Any tiger is a dangerous animal"?

What is the meaning of this sentence: "Any tiger is a dangerous animal."? A. A tiger in general is a dangerous animal. B. Any tiger, even a sick one, is dangerous.
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1answer
99 views

Can I make a generic by using the definite article?

Can I make the word "noun" into a generic with the definite article ? Ex) The noun can be a subject or object.
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0answers
289 views

How do you know when to use either an indefinite article or definite article for singular count nouns?

According to my GMAT grammar book, it is incorrect to say "A chair is a useful piece of furniture." Instead, it says to use a definite article like so: "The chair is a useful piece of furniture." Why ...
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2answers
2k views

Definite article vs. no article in front of plant names used generically

There's a rule that when we use a noun generically, we either put the definite article in front of it or use the plural form: The tiger is in danger of becoming extinct. Tigers are in danger ...
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2answers
1k views

There is no woman who doesn't like (flowers / a flower)

1.There is no woman who does not like a flower. 2.There is no woman who does not like flowers. Are these two sentences the same in meaning? I prefer no.2 as I think it means generalisation of ...
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1answer
209 views

Is it correct to use the English possessive with generic nouns?

I know that a sentence like "My cat's head is black" is correct, because the head is that of a specific cat. But what if I want to write "I found a lizard's tail under my bed"? In this case the tail ...
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1answer
406 views

Singular plural generalization with generic noun phrase

Consider two sentences 1) Do not make noise when you visit 'a patient' in hospital. 2) Do not make noise when you visit 'patients' in hospital. Here do 1) and 2) mean the same or different ? ...
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1answer
79 views

task contains actions OR action contains tasks?

Does a task contain actions to solve the task? or Does an action contain tasks to solve the action? I am a programmer and would like to get the names for my class structure as much intuitive readable ...
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2answers
183 views

Generic noun phrase + article question

1) 'Men' have a tendency to believe that 'women' were created for their pleasure. 2) A 'man' has a tendency to believe that a 'woman' was created for his pleasure. 3) A 'man' has a tendency to ...
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1answer
124 views

Generic noun plural case

1) Studying at a good institute can really make a difference. 2) Studying at good institutes can really make a difference. Do both the sentences carry the same meaning ?
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2answers
5k views

Singular Vs plural while making a general statement

I'm having a hard time understanding whether to use plural or singular while making general sentences. Doing a bit of research I found both can be used. For example: Dogs are loyal animals. A ...
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1answer
1k views

Singular Vs plural generic noun case [duplicate]

First let's consider a few sentences 1) A cow is a useful animal. 1') Cows are useful animals. (In sentence 1) 'a cow' represents all cows in general) 2) A good student is fun to teach. 2') Good ...
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2answers
738 views

Generic noun phrase + singular/plural

Take the example Monkeys like bananas. Here, is 'bananas' referred to banana in general or more than one banana? I guess it represents only banana in general irrespective of one or more than one ...
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3answers
3k views

Generalization of sentences/ generic noun phrase and articles usage

Take a few examples of generic noun phrases: A) Tigers are big. B) A tiger is big. C) The tiger is big. All the above three represent a group of Tigers as a whole or all tigers in general....
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1answer
72 views

A man(all) needs (all)friends

First let me give a few sentences of generic reference : 1) A man needs friends. 2) Men need friends. In 1) & 2) it refers to all men (men in general) or simply put 'man' is used as a generic ...
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1answer
5k views

Singular or plural for "cat"?

I always have many confusions for singular or plural, should the cat be a cat, cats or simply cat: Human adopted many pets in history, for example cat, dog, etc... Human adopted cats in ...
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5answers
3k views

Is "Bananas grow in a tropical climate" grammatically correct?

I'm trying to learn grammar from an IETLS book, In one of the fill in the blank type question, there is one question such as : Bananas grow in _______. The answers page says that the correct ...
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1answer
338 views

Definite article singular vs plural noun

Consider these: A. The deer eats the berry of the mistletoe. B. Deer eat berries of mistletoes. C. (The) deer eat(s) (the) berry(es) of (the) mistletoe(s). B is the way I would usually write a ...
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4answers
4k views

The articles "a" and "the" in generic statements

This is intended as a generic statement: *A madrigal is popular. This means that being popular is a requirement for being a madrigal. ...of course this conclusion is wrong, so I've marked the ...
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1answer
225 views

Should "a/an" articles be used before general concepts?

Let me give you some examples from my textbook, that were confusing for me. How many strings does ___ bass guitar have? How many players can be on court in ___ basketball team? Which European country ...
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2answers
3k views

(The) Owls Are Not What They Seem

"The Owls Are Not What They Seem" vs "Owls Are Not What They Seem". This is a popular statement from Twin Peaks TV series, but is there any difference if you put "The" at the beginning or not?
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2answers
13k views

Can I say 'around the 1800s'? How do I read '1800s'?

Tasmanian wolf died out around the 1800s. Q1. Is the above sentence correct? (I'm not sure whether I can use 'around' here.) Q2. How do I read 'in the 1800s' aloud? Thank you!
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1answer
2k views

Generic plural. I need to know if there is a rule about it

We say "the poor" but then we say "the Italians". If both are correct, I wonder why is not possible to say "the poors". Can you tell me the rule please?
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2answers
505 views

The <noun> is ..... meaning wolves in general?

I was learning about using "a" and "the" today, and was confused about: What is the word "the" doing in these sentences? The wolf is a very dangerous animal. The kangaroo comes from Australia. ...
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1answer
288 views

Definite or indefinite article with "generic reader"

Let's imagine we are talking about readers in general. Some like "intellectual" books, some like detective novels: The intellectual perusing “Foucault's Pendulum” and the simpleton absorbed in a ...