Questions tagged [zero-article]

For questions about noun phrases that contain no articles, definite or indefinite.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
42 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why do we not use the definite article in "Where can I find the room 401?"

Last week in college, a student [with a thick South Asian accent] asked me: "Excuse me, where can I find the room 401?". I realized that to my native English ears, the word "the" sounded non-...
silph's user avatar
  • 781
26 votes
5 answers
11k views

"I don't have the time to cook" or "I don't have time to cook"?

Should I say: I do not have the time. Or I do not have time. Which option is the correct one? If both are correct, is there any difference in meaning or other difference between them?
Sherley's user avatar
  • 261
20 votes
10 answers
8k views

"She speaks an impeccable English" vs "She speaks impeccable English"

What is the difference between these sentences? She speaks an impeccable English. She speaks impeccable English. I understand both are correct but is one simply more specific because of ...
Word Nerd's user avatar
  • 301
20 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why can I write "Please open window" without an article?

"Please open window" is a sign I saw on a London bus. What rule let the author omit an article? It was written right on the window, so I'm wondering why they didn't write "Please open ...
musialmi's user avatar
  • 425
18 votes
2 answers
33k views

When can an article be omitted? [duplicate]

I am aware that articles are the modifiers, which introduce a noun/noun_phrase in a sentence, and by the rules of English grammar we should use an article before referring to a noun in a sentence. ...
Sky's user avatar
  • 417
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

"He gave the order to abandon ship." - why no article?

The entry for "abandon" in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary contains the following example sentence: He gave the order to abandon ship (= to leave the ship because it was sinking). I ...
Min-Soo Pipefeet's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
11k views

A secretary with ____ good knowledge of English: "a" or no article?

I'm trying to pass a test on "Articles exercise" as they call it on the EnglishGrammar site. Reviewing my answers I got stuck about the two I posted on the picture below. As I understand both words ...
Andrey Morozov's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is there the indefinite article in: “a Victorian 23 knots”?

I've recently watched Top Gear and one of the presenters said there: ...In fact, I was only doing a Victorian 23 knots. Why did he use the indefinite article when the noun is in the plural? And what ...
Rusty's user avatar
  • 707
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

“The,” or no article: “All _____ time.”

What is the difference? Or is it grammatically wrong? all time or all the time And if you make such a proposal, it will be wrong? The best artists of the time (When you add the article the ...
Boyep's user avatar
  • 1,390
14 votes
5 answers
1k views

"I was reading posts there" vs. "I was reading the posts there"

This is my post from History Stack Exchange. I was reading posts there and one specific issue interested me. That's why I wrote that post. Should I use the when referring to posts on History SE in ...
CowperKettle's user avatar
  • 36.6k
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

In which situations is it OK to omit articles in short sentences?

Recently, in many new online software I often see that developers omit articles in short sentences, especially on action buttons or tooltips. For instance: "Add new task" (not "Add a new task"), "...
pch's user avatar
  • 153
12 votes
6 answers
8k views

(The?) Lions in the zoo are very aggressive [duplicate]

We use a plural count noun with no article if we mean all or any of that thing. For example: Lions are very aggressive. I don't like lions. We only use the with general ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 22.5k
11 votes
2 answers
76k views

Do you have a / the time?

I am trying to cope with the ever increasing trend of new phrases in English language and found something. I have heard many a times people use "Do you have a/the time?" In reply, either we say "Yes/...
madLokesh's user avatar
  • 221
11 votes
5 answers
8k views

what kind of an animal vs. what kind of animal

An excerpt from Java for Dummies, 6th Edition: If you already know what kind of an animal Java is and know that you want to use Java, skip Chapter 1 and go straight to Chapter 2. Believe me, I won’...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
490 views

psychologist John Hayes (THE, zero article before false titles)

An example (from The New Yorker) of a phrase with a false title (psychologist John Hayes): After Simon and Chase’s paper, for example, the psychologist John Hayes looked at seventy-six famous ...
CowperKettle's user avatar
  • 36.6k
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

A or no article? “He is_____ racist.”

Why in most cases do not put the article "a", when you enter the sentence in the search? In the example on this site, the article is adding (OALD (American English)) Just enter in the search and you ...
Boyep's user avatar
  • 1,390
9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is Vietnamese a noun or an adjective?

If I say I am Vietnamese. Is Vietnamese a noun or an adjective? According to OALD, Vietnamese can be a noun or an adjective. If it’s a noun, why don’t we say I am a Vietnamese? Because its meaning is ...
Meow's user avatar
  • 1,213
9 votes
4 answers
854 views

Is it correct to use zero article in this sentence?

There is an exercise in Gateway B1 Student's book, page 13, where you need to choose the correct article. The answer key for this sentence: The results show that ∅ / the teenagers who eat with ...
Andrew Furletov's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

"police said" - why not "the police said"?

Example with a context (news article: Russian police arrest three after dramatic Moscow shootout): In their last crime, the alleged robbers had grabbed more than 8 million rubles ($146,000) in an ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Articles with professions: "The job of teacher" vs "The job of a teacher"

The job of teacher, for which patience is required, would not suit me. Why don't we say "the job of a teacher"? As far as I know with professions we always use the indefinite article
Khrystyna's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

"... is called Minkowski space" or "is called the Minkowski space" and WHY?

I met both constructions in quite respectable texts. Is it a matter of taste, or of a shade of meaning?
Serguei's user avatar
  • 1,433
8 votes
4 answers
652 views

My brother has turned writer VS. My brother has turned a writer

I encountered a quiz: My brother has turned _____ writer. I am proud of him. A. a B. the C. / D. an The answer key is C. As I understand, zero article might be ok here because writer is an ...
dan's user avatar
  • 12.9k
8 votes
4 answers
892 views

Are all article combinations valid patterns for "the" ɴᴏᴜɴ of "the" ɴᴏᴜɴ?

Please consider: We should pay attention to the quality of the presentation. We should pay attention to the quality of presentation. We should pay attention to quality of presentation. We should pay ...
Daniel Li's user avatar
  • 189
7 votes
2 answers
15k views

"Have you ever had surgery?" Why does surgery in this sentence have no article?

Can't we ask instead, Have you ever had a surgery? Is surgery a countable noun? I guess we can speak of surgeries in the plural form. Why should we use zero article in this sentence? Update: What ...
Vladislav's user avatar
  • 225
7 votes
1 answer
950 views

Why isn’t there any article before this countable noun?

There was chaise longue at the end of the dressing room, and Clea crept to it now and lay down, pulling her knees up to her chin. (Clea & Zeus Divorce by Emily Prager,p.54) I don’t find out why ...
Listenever's user avatar
  • 24.1k
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

When to use an article before "reason"

Please help me to understand when should I use an article before reason and when I should not use any article before reason. Examples: (A) I have reason to do this. (B) I have a good reason ...
user62015's user avatar
  • 4,007
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

When does one drop the article after "with"?

This question was already asked here, but didn't receive a proper answer. In a book on writing papers in english, one reads that the article is omitted "in some expressions describing a noun". The ...
Serguei's user avatar
  • 1,433
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

When should one use articles with adjective+proper noun?

I've always thought that we don't use articles when the adjective is descriptive as in "Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas". And that we do use them when the adjective makes the proper noun different from ...
Rusty's user avatar
  • 707
7 votes
3 answers
865 views

How to distinguish countable and uncountable senses?

The general rule is to use an article for countable nouns (i.e. nouns permitting a plural) and no article for uncountable nouns. However, some nouns may be countable in one sense and uncountable in ...
A. Pelicker's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
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 ...
Zar's user avatar
  • 83
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is there no article in "We are Family"?

Sister Sledge - We Are Family - YouTube I've searched on YouTube a song named 'We are Family' Why use the sentence without an article 'a' or 'the'?
Maika's user avatar
  • 173
6 votes
2 answers
826 views

Should I put "an" to describe "knowledge"

I am trying to post an advertisement, which is: Job opportunity: A company located in XXX needs employees. Requirements: some knowledge about NoSQL (preferable Couchbase) and elasticsearch. ...
Marco Dinatsoli's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
153 views

The usage of the definite article

I'm watching a movie about an asteroid colliding with the Earth. At some point I saw a caption: 10 days until impact Why isn't it 10 days until the impact There is one particulat impact that ...
user2738748's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
376 views

before we get to yuppie -- why no article in front of "yuppie"?

Source: short audio clip Transcript: So, what is a yuppie? Well, actually before we get to yuppie, we need to go back in time. Let's go back all the way to the 1940s. Now, a couple months ago, in ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
797 views

“the top levels of government” -- why not "of THE government"?

Example taken from: Russia questions five suspects over Nemtsov killing: However no information has emerged as to the possible motive the men could have had in killing the charismatic opposition ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
483 views

Why don't we use "the" before "third gear"?

Or fifth, fourth, whatever. Omitting the article would make sense if it were "gear five". But with gear being a countable noun, I'm totally stumped. For example, Whenever I start my car I switch ...
Rusty's user avatar
  • 707
6 votes
3 answers
66k views

"in the light of" vs "in light of"

I see that both phrases "in light of" and "in the light of" are used and people considering both to be correct. Look here and here. Also there is a large corpus supporting both ...
qartal's user avatar
  • 1,089
6 votes
1 answer
709 views

into night or into the night

I thought of another question led by a question in an exam. The paper is due next month, and I am working seven days ______ week, often long into______night. A. a; the B.the; / C.a; a D./; ...
chenyi zhou's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
115 views

The definite article in phrases with "from"?

So, I learned that you use the definite article with specific nouns and no article with plurals or general nouns. In my practice book, there's an example that confuses me. It is a task where you have ...
Ginnilini's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is the rule of when to add the articles: (a, the, no article) before a noun, too flexible in English?

This is from William Gibson's Neuromancer: The impact with pavement drove dull rods of pain through his shins. Why is there no article before pavement?
Nadirspam's user avatar
  • 117
5 votes
2 answers
8k views

'I am man' or 'I am a man'?

Man can also mean human beings as an uncountable noun, so does that mean I can say: I am man. or Man are not smart. without the article?
Tom Lee's user avatar
  • 1,036
5 votes
3 answers
288 views

"Verge of shutdown" or "Verge of a shutdown"?

Which one of the following is grammatically correct? Abc Country might be on the verge of a shutdown. or, Abc Country might be on the verge of shutdown?. I think the second one is right.
Java D's user avatar
  • 181
5 votes
1 answer
680 views

Zero article before emperor in "You will not be emperor"

Emperor is a countable noun according to the Cambridge dictionary. Why the zero article is used in the following sentence? You will not be emperor. (Gladiator) Comparing to the similar construction ...
Vladislav's user avatar
  • 225
5 votes
3 answers
7k views

Zero article before "advice", "fish and chips", "lunch"

Please explain next example: My neighbour is a photographer; let's ask him for (!) advice about colour films. We had (!) fish and (!) chips for (!) lunch. That doesn't sound a very interesting lunch....
Max Usanin's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
147 views

"the bounds of keyboard and cables, of monitor and mouse" - why no articles?

Source: How Computers Work by Ron White Example: The deskless PC has long been computing's holy grail, a computer that slips the bounds of keyboard and cables, of monitor and mouse, to soar free ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
418 views

What is this over?

"I walked over hill and valley" from a workbook Does this mean walk all over hill and valley? or other things?
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
199 views

Is this proper English "They have church building, but they're not church."?

In a script I am working on a line is phrased within the movie: "They have church building, but they're not church." It is our job to edit the lines and make it more natural for the American ...
MovieScriptGuy's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

usage of THE with the plural subject (or noun)

I have following construction. Table 4 shows the parameters used by the filtering approach. The parameters are determined by the knowledge about the data and landscape. I want to clarify, ...
gnp's user avatar
  • 1,907
5 votes
1 answer
319 views

"calculus" and "the calculus" - what's the difference?

Example: Now, if you picked up the book and looked through it, the first thing you'd notice is that it was presented in the imposing format that the ancient mathematician Euclid had used in his ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
335 views

condition - a / no article

Why in some cases condition is used with an article and in some cases with no article? For example: Considering its age, this house is in excellent condition. He was in a terrible condition ...
serge.karalenka's user avatar

1
2 3 4 5
8