There are some words in English where a single item uses a plural noun. Examples are:-
scales (as you say)
Usually these are items where the original object has two or more parts (two pans for traditional balance scales, two blades for scissors, two legs for clothes worn below the waist). Over time (and in some ...
In British English, although a 'pair (or set) of scales' is very common, we can say 'a scale'. This is a scale that I bought in the UK about 6 months ago from a well-known chain of supermarkets. It cost £8 ($11 US)
It is normal to say "by post" in British English (or "by mail" in American English).
You would never use an indefinite article with "post" in this context, since there is only one post ("a post" would therefore be a fence-post or similar). However, it can be correct to use a definite article, as in "through the ...
Scales (meaning a balance or weighing machine) is usually plural:
The scales are in the bathroom.
When we want to refer to a single balance, we can say "a pair of scales", but I think most people would use that only for a traditional balance with two pans.
The Oxford English Dictionary remarks of that meaning of scales "(†In 16th cent. ...
scales pl (plural only)
A device for measuring weight.
The butcher put the sausages on the scales.
If you don't mean any scales in particular, no article is needed since it's always plural. I couldn't find any reasonable example when you can say it without the definite article, though.
'Like the wind' is an idiomatic phrase meaning 'very fast'. You need the definite article. Using an indefinite article, or no article, would be incorrect. Regard 'the wind' to mean 'any generic fast-blowing wind'. There does not need to be a wind blowing at the time.
Like the wind (Lexico)
"Most people" is used to make general statements about humankind.
Most people have two eyes.
If you say "most of the people" I'd expect you to tell me which particular group of people you are talking about.
Most of the people at my workplace wear jeans.
As usual "the" means that the noun is "determined" So the ...
You're right in thinking that it refers to ‘people as a tribe/community’. In this case, ‘a people’ means ‘the entire group of people (that usually has something in common e.g. language, culture, ethnicity etc)’.
I recently read the first chapter in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language by David Crystal and came across the same usage of ‘a people’...
I would probably avoid both.
I'd probably say "the kitchen scales", or just "the scales"
This works because there is only one such device in the kitchen. There are times when it is difficult to find an acceptable expression with a word like this that is always plural.
I went to the shop to buy .....
the kitchen scales (no good because ...
This answer is based on The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum, 2002, pp. 519-522.
Embellishments and the definite article
There are three different kinds of words/phrases that modify a noun/NP: nominal and adjectival attributive modifiers, and determiners. Huddleston and Pullum call these "semantically non-...
Like many words, velvet can be used as either a count or non-count noun. When used as a count noun, the meaning is of specific types of the material in question.
For example, "the sands" (sand used as a count noun) indicates several types of sand (maybe coarse sand from one a beach and fine sand from the desert) considered together.
Or, "a ...
It depends on what you try to convey.
If you talk about your handstand routine, progress, work, you can say "my handstand". If you talk about the exercise, the pose, the technique in general, you can say "the handstand". "A handstand" refers to one instance of this exercise, a repetition. "Do a handstand" is the usual ...
The only expression with a correct use of English is "Expert. An Ashok Choudhary company". This suggests that it is one of many companies that you run. (Company is rarely abbreviated except in forms like ".... co. ltd.")
The overall impression is odd. You don't see adverts for "Microsoft. A Bill Gates company". The only ...
Articles are not needed when there is some other determiner:
A dog / my dog / that dog
The words my and that are determiners and you don't say "my a dog" or "the my dog"
Articles ('a' and 'the') are also determiners.
The question word "what" can also function as a determiner, although it asks for the responder to determine. ...
"You've got to the count of five to let me out of here."
Q. Why in this sentence is definite-article?
A. By using the definite-article the, we’ve shown that it was one specific count that we are relating too.
Articles are words that define a noun as specific or unspecific. Consider the following example:
After the long day, the cup of tea tasted ...
Let's start with the adjective other:
Other may be used without an article:
Other may be used with a definite article:
the other day
the other type
the other problem
But - and this is the key point - other is not used with an indefinite article.
We don't say or write:
an other pen
an other time
an other film
Where is the hospital/post office/hotel/park?
Where is a hospital/post office/hotel/park?
Where can I find the hospital/post office/hotel/park?
Where can I find a hospital/post office/hotel/park?
The 2nd example is unusual.
Of the rest, if you are aware that there is only one of the facilities you have listed, or if you have identified your preferred one ...
Good question (because I don't really know the answer!)
This is a very common form of words, so it's perhaps a distraction for us to look too much to this particular quote. Here are some (made up) examples of the same kind of thing:
One of the biggest problems in Australia is the rabbits, rabbits that are not indigenous to the country.
All was quiet until ...
You are right that, when half is a noun, it is countable. You can see this because it has a special plural- halves.
In this case, though, it's a quantitative determiner, like some and most.
Note that, when talking about the second of two items that you have already mentioned, you can say "the latter" rather than "the second one". ...
You use the definite article when you are talking about one specific thing or group of things. If you say "I got the grade B", that B must be specific, for example you might say:
Only one person got a grade B in this test. I got the grade B.
If you are not talking about a specific thing, for example if many people got a grade B and you were one ...
Yes, because you're talking about a specific thing.
In this particular case, you would want to use the article "the" because you're talking about on specific distribution that you've calculated. If you were referring to any of the possible distributions without specifying which one, you might say "a distribution", but that's not the case ...