Questions tagged [generic-noun-phrases]

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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
5k 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
121 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
103 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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1answer
44 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
758 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
456 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
43 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
543 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
2k 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
49 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
384 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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3answers
32k 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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6answers
614 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
84 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
136 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
233 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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2answers
1k 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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1answer
28k 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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2answers
808 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
182 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
338 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
63 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
139 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
104 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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4k 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
776 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
504 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
68 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
3k 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
333 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
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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
144 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
9k 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
409 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
279 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do we use “the” with non-specific noun?

It seems like there are so many exceptions for articles. Example sentences: I don't like going to the theater. I prefer going to the cinema. I feel like it is not specific but why do we use "the" ...
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1answer
489 views

Articles (A / an / the) How do you understand difference between 'all things of that kind' and 'all the things referred to by a noun'?

How do you understand difference between 'all things of that kind' and 'all the things referred to by a noun'? quote: We use a/an with a singular noun to say something about all things of that kind:...
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2answers
171 views

How does the specificity of a sentence change?

Source Joe plays the piano really well. Joe plays piano really well. The former means Joe can play any piano while the latter one means Joe can play only this piano? Source Paris is the ...
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1answer
87 views

article usage: “the faces of the human”

A dusty wind whips in the sweaty faces of the humans. A dusty wind whips in the sweaty faces of humans. The first sentence uses two thes. Is the article the required in front of humans? Which is ...
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821 views

How to explain a general topic? Using A or Plural Form or Plural Form Plus the?

Consider: A strict constraint on the power consumption can severely affect performance of electronic devices. A strict constraint on the power consumption can severely affect performance of ...
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2answers
2k views

Using Plural form for general statements

When speaking about general statements, should all nouns be in their plural forms? Cockroaches are disgusting. Dogs cannot eat chocolate. And for the objects, should they be in their plural ...
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1answer
843 views

What does 'the' mean in “every second of the day”?

Winston Smith lives in a world where everyone is watched every second of the day Is highlighted "the" the synonym of "every"? Why do we use "the" here instead of "a"?
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1answer
523 views

Articles in generic noun phrases

Here are three instances regarding the usage of articles: From a poll on the Internet: "Should the owner of a shop be able to buy from or sell to their shop?" From Wikipedia: "Birds of prey, also ...