Questions tagged [zero-article]

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

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4
votes
2answers
1k views

'the English grammar” vs. “∅ English grammar”

Which article should I use if I want to say, for example: Let's discuss/Let's talk about (the) English/Russian grammar. Is the definite article “the” needed here or not?
5
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
639 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
328 views

I am without an article? (with regard to a job title)

Is it grammatically okay to say I am [..] instead of I am [article] [...] Example I am software developer Programming tag since my question actually is can I say 'I am developer'? I would ...
2
votes
3answers
180 views

(The|A) stor(y|ies) about James and Susie?

This question may seem too basic, but after reading through 3 grammar and usage guides, I still can't find the sufficient information on this distinction. Consider these phrases with their different ...
4
votes
2answers
497 views

(The) readers of a magazine?

Q1: Are these two phrases acceptable, if so, is there any, subtle or explicit, difference in meaning or emphasis between them? 1) The readers of a magazine 2) Readers of a magazine In Swan's ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

Including and excluding “a” in a sentence, both make sense

I get what the author wants to say in the following sentence, but can't understand the use of "a" [bold in the following sentence] Despite a multitude of high-tech note-taking tools, the classic ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Should it be “without scarf” or “without a scarf”?

Is one of these right and one wrong, and if so, which is which and why? Sandra is the woman without scarf. Sandra is the woman without a scarf. Would it work the same if we said she was without ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
240 views

I think an article (a/the) has been missing here

I was reading this news on yahoo and I think there should be an article. If you say there should not be then please give me some valid reasons. On yahoo: Question- Importance of body language in ...
1
vote
3answers
115 views

Why “facility i” but “the edge j”

I was reading an academic paper and I encountered the following sentence: "By the assumption, facility i is fully paid before time t. For any city k, the edge j must be tight before time t." As I ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

no *the* in “from beginning to end”

We listened to the old man tell his story from beginning to end. How come that it is not from the beginning to the end? It is the beginning and the end of the particular story. The only explanation I ...
4
votes
4answers
594 views

There should be an article (A or The)

I was reading a novel and I think, there is a mistake, they missed an article as per me but I am not sure yet, so putting this here. In the book, it has been written: Destiny, it is way over the ...
4
votes
2answers
769 views

“The English grammar” or “English grammar”

Should we use definite article (the) before "English grammar". Please tell me which sentence is perfect: Tenses in the English grammar. Tenses in English grammar.
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Watching Cartoons vs Watching Cartoon

In a comment I said: Yeah, I was looking for this (about "you just wait and see!"); I hear it a lot while watching cartoons with the kids! I wasn't confident of (on?) which one sounds natural, ...
4
votes
2answers
394 views

Do you need help (or _a_ help) in Biology or Chemistry? Join our Tutoring Club! (article use)

Am I right to think the following announcement wrong in its use of the indefinite article? Do you need a help in Biology or Chemistry? Consider joining our Friday Chemistry and Biology Tutoring ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

Why is the word *the* necessary?

Why do I have to use the in following phrase? What are the problems .... For example What are the problems John is facing while riding a bike? What are the problems Smith is facing while ...
5
votes
2answers
597 views

should there be a definite article before “eye level”? (a quote from Salinger)

From Salinger's Zooey: There were scars much nearer to eye level, too, from a rather awesome variety of airborne objects—beanbags, baseballs, marbles, skate keys, soap erasers, and ...
3
votes
4answers
170 views

Which article to use in “I demand [a/the/] video of this birthday”

I want to ask a friend for a video of her daughter's birthday, so what should I put after demand below? I demand the video of this birthday. I demand video of this birthday. I demand a video ...
1
vote
1answer
843 views

Where can I find the list of nouns that are used with zero-article?

Where can I find a list of nouns that are used with a zero-article—that is, words which do not need an article. For example Milk is good. They spoke about corruption. Is there some ...
4
votes
3answers
129 views

“X is no longer a (?) speculation” - choosing the article

Which of these two sentences is better article-wise? Maybe they are equivalent? The Taliban's spreading influence in the North is no longer a speculation. The Taliban's spreading influence ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Enumerating singulars mixed with plurals

Suppose we have a picture with several objects that we have to enumerate them. First, is this enumeration correct? There is a little girl, two boys, an old man and a pen. Second, how would we ...
1
vote
1answer
768 views

Specific zero article question

"during the working hours" OR "during working hours" "during the working days" OR "during working days" Which is correct? If both are correct, which one is more desirable? My reasoning is that ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
205 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.
1
vote
1answer
170 views

What article should I use for “air conditioning”?

Which sentences are correct? We didn't have air conditioning. We didn't have the air conditioning. We had no air conditioning.
11
votes
4answers
384 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
68 views

(the, Ø) merger of two airlines

A quote from the NYT: The Justice Department argues that the merger with American would prompt US Airways to shift more travelers to higher-priced flights at American’s larger hubs. Could we ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Can the indefinite article be omitted in “watch solar eclipse”?

I have read the following passage, and I wonder whether watch solar eclipse is correct. On July 22, 2009, there was solar eclipse in the sky. In the morning, we got up early. After we had breakfast,...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

(the, Ø) rates: article usage

A quote from The Guardian: The Bank of England, under its new governor Mark Carney, has promised that interest rates will stay at their record low level of 0.5% until the unemployment rate ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

companies that mapped (the, 0) shale reserves

A quote from the Economist ("The Father of Fracking") His company counted on support from various government agencies, including those that mapped the shale reserves (demonstrating that they ...
3
votes
2answers
310 views

why no article before G.D.P.?

A quote from NY Times: For the first quarter, the bureau now says G.D.P. grew at a 1.1 percent rate — after a series of reductions from its initial estimate of 2.5 percent. Why is there no ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

Exxon and (∅, the) other oil majors

A quote from The Economist: Yet Exxon and the other oil supermajors are more vulnerable than they look. What if we insert a zero article in THE's position before the "other": Yet Exxon and ...
0
votes
1answer
198 views

Indefinite interviewers and mostly definite children

An excerpt from The Economist's article on bedtime regime's correlation with IQ scores. Here I've committed two kinds of mismatches, putting THE before the second mention of "interviewers" and ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

years of service and _ final salary

From The Economist's article on the US's economic troubles: American states and cities typically offer their employees defined-benefit pensions based on years of service and final salary. The ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

rules written by (the) existing players: article usage

A quote from The Economist (Higher education: The attack of the MOOCs): “Anyone who thinks the rules of engagement have already been written by the existing players is massively underestimating ...
8
votes
2answers
44k 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/...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

Why isn't there an article in “if you're not family”? [duplicate]

[Fred] “Merry Christmans!” [George] "Hey, look –– Harry's got a Weasley sweater, too!" Fred and George were wearing blue sweaters, one with a large yellow F on it, the other a G. "Harry'...
2
votes
1answer
714 views

Indefinite article before “increased emphasis”?

The question is whether the indefinite article an before "increased emphasis" is needed. During system design, there is increased emphasis on interface-based design. During system design, ...
0
votes
2answers
634 views

“Make easy” vs. “Make it easy”

I need to know which of these options is the correct one and why: The Spanish cooking makes it easy to have a nice meal. The Spanish cooking makes easy to have a nice meal. I don't know if ...