Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange
15

No. There is an apostrophe after "years", so it means "imprisonment of ten years" - though you wouldn't actually say that, you'd say "imprisonment for ten years". Imprisonment, like most abstracts, is a non-count noun, and doesn't take "a". You could just about say "a ten-year imprisonment", where the article is licensed by the qualifier on "imprisonment"...


4

"I eat meat." "I eat an apple." Some nouns are countable and some aren't -- things like "materials" such as cloth, meat, etc are not considered countable. For example, water is measured in some unit and thus isn't countable itself, whereas rocks can be measured by a number of items, and are countable. Duty happens to fit into both. "Become obsessed with a ...


3

That is correct. Plural nouns use a definite article (ie. Writing the business letters) or no article at all, just as you did. Here is a link that explains it: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/articles-with-plural-nouns/


3

For the first one, only "the" works. For the second, both "the" and "a" are correct, but they mean different things. "The bird has two wings" is about some specific bird while "a bird has two wings" is about birds in general. You could also say "birds have two wings" or "every bird has two wings" etc. The difference is that "A French" by itself, isn't ...


3

Yes, this is correct. The word “bedroom” in this sense is referring to an actual thing, and must be preceded by “the.” In fact, I can’t think of an instance when “bedroom” wouldn’t take an article. :) In your example, “cup of coffee” also needs an article. In this case, it would be “a cup of coffee.”


3

If the title of the group were Microsoft Team, then this would be fine: We are Microsoft Team. But note the capitalization, which is critical in this construction. Also, even though it would be correct, it would still sound a little strange. Titles of groups don't often include Team at the end. (In fact, I can't think of any actual examples.) However, ...


3

Both are correct in colloquial English. One uses pain as a countable noun, e.g. a pain in my arm and a pain in my leg, the other as uncountable, which, like water, does not require an article. It's a very small difference, and would go unnoticed in connected speech. That said, a doctor would be more likely to use the uncountable form, e.g. Do you have ...


3

I would consider that I have never seen a snow is technically incorrect, but could be considered an elided version of I have never seen a snow storm (or "snowfall" or "snow shower" or the like). I suspect that google results are distorted by the presence of forms like this in the texts being searched. I would regard I have never seen snow. as ...


2

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "BE", but yes it in very common to describe a human as an object. It is usually used as a description where the properties of said object fit the description you would like to use. The third example you've given is slightly different. As opposed to saying I'm not a house, property here is defined as "belonging to". ...


2

the phrase "As of next month" means the next month after now, or the next month after the moment at which the speaker is speaking. So, if on may 15, someone says: As of next month, all the airline's fares will be going up. that means the fares will increase in June, probably at the start of June. However "As of the next month" means the next month after ...


2

As others have observed in comments, "the 'X'-er, the 'Y'-er" is a set phrase to be learned whole, rather than dissected and reasoned out in pieces (e.g.: what is the meaning of the "the" parts?) However, I do think you can make some sense of it by considering the definite articles ("the") as naming a specific increment of increase in each of the adjectives ...


2

Both press the point and press a point are established expressions. To press the point means to emphasise/stress/underline the speaker's view on a subject that is already clear to both parties, as in: This is the unpaid bill and, while we do not wish to press the point unduly, it does need to be settled this week. On the other hand, to press a point ...


2

Usually there is only one 'most' intelligent student. If that's Sreedhar, then Sreedhar is the most intelligent student. But we can easily imagine a class in which Sreedhar is very good at maths and science, another student is very good at history and geography, and yet another at art and music. The three of them are 'the three most intelligent students' ...


2

You must not read such trash. Trash, meaning "something which is waste or of no value" is a non-count noun, so you would not use an article such as "a" before it. trash noun [ Uncountable ] anything that is worthless and of low quality; waste: Trash


2

Normally we'd say "a null pointer" because there can be many pointers with this value. Of course the value itself is unique, so we can say "... with the null value", but as the value fields are plural, we can say "... with a null value field" or "... with a null value". These would be common describing the programming language C or the basic machine ...


2

The sentence is grammatically correct with or without the, as you rightly said. But for me the meanings are very slightly different. "In the previous chapters" suggests to me that the author is referring either to all previous chapters or at least several contiguous immediately-preceding chapters. "In previous chapters" is more vague and could refer to, ...


1

The specific sentence in the question doesn't really make sense—it shouldn't have an indefinite article in the first place. (The definite article should also not be there.) A better version would be: ✔ They assessed its durability in both hot weather and cold. Although the indefinite article no longer applies, the second instance of weather can be ...


1

"Weather" is not a countable noun and so never takes an indefinite article. So the proper phrasing is either both hot and cold weather or both hot weather and cold weather


1

It sounds unnatural to refer to "a document" unless you say that once to introduce it. After that it is a particular document and you should use the definite article. If the sentences are part of the document itself, you can omit that entirely, leaving something like these statistics Revision: 5 Pages: 1000 Tables: 42


1

"Late hours of the night" is slightly idiomatic but fully correct. It's normal to use 'the' when describing a time of day. I will visit you in the afternoon. I was woken every day early in the morning


1

Generally the definite article 'the" is used to refer to a group as a group: The French are noted for their consumption of wine. The rich are often assumed to be arrogant. The beach is a popular summer destination. The Jews have often been persecuted. The educated often think of themselves as a natural elite. But when referring to a single ...


1

Gerunds can take articles. There’s a matter of degree between pure English gerunds (“I like computing”) and verbs that have fully become nouns (“the painting by Van Gogh”). When pure English gerunds have an article, it becomes a little more abstract, almost as if you’re talking about all instances of the gerund and not just one. But when verbs that have ...


1

Yes. The is used when the question "which X?" would make sense, the speaker/writer expects the listener/reader to already know which X that the speaker/writer is talking about. Typical reasons for the speaker/writer to expect this are: X was mentioned earlier in conversation, X is a thing known to everyone, X is believed to be a thing known to ...


1

The normal form here would be: ... but I didn't have such an option on my phone. An indefinite article is used because the missing option is one of several options that the phone might posses (but doesn't). Indeed there might be several possible options with the desired result. The clause might be recast as: ... but I didn't have that option on my ...


1

Indeed "the train" is often used for "trains as a general concept" as is "the bus" and "the plane". So is "the road". It can cost much less than the train. could be understood as short for It can cost much less than taking the train. but this is not true for some of the other cases where a definite article is used with a means of transportation, such ...


1

The explanation given in some grammar manuals (like Collins COBUILD English Guides, 1991) is that count nouns can be converted to uncount nouns when they are preceded by expressions like 'a kind of', 'a sort of', even 'a piece of'. These expressions are followed by a noun with no article.


1

Quite simply, it's a flowerbed where some of the flowers were cut off the plants. It's explained later in the paper: As pollinators feed on floral resources, only the flowers of I. glandulifera were removed from the experimental plots (vs. the entire plant); in this way the effects of direct competition for other resources (e.g. water, light and nutrients)...


1

Sentence #2 is grammatical and idiomatic. Sentence #1 doesn't sound quite right. I don't think it's really because of the grammar, since an adverb would be appropriate modifying "is" (#1) or the adjective "sufficient" (#2). The problem is with the meaning of the combination "actually sufficient". Unless you are using some specialized vocabulary where "...


1

If you were taught that "we never use 's to indicate the possession of an inanimate object", then note that this is a "rule" that is not followed in practice, even in formal English. The topic has been discussed at length in this post in English Language and Usage. As noted in the accepted answer, the possessive 's appears even in the English translated ...


1

Because that is the form that such expressions take in English. Somebody has commented, mentioning the idiomatic expression "the more, the merrier". But this is abbreviated. The structure normally has full clauses, as in: The more he shouts at them, the more obstinate they will become. "Why" questions about language hardly ever have answers other than "...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible