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37

Both are fine and seem to be widely used. To me, "don't have the time" implies a long-term situation, whereas "don't have time" could be more temporary. For example, "My life is so busy that I don't have the time to cook" versus "Tonight I'm going to a concert so I won't have time to cook."


29

Some words and phrases in English can be either countable or uncountable. The difference in meaning between the two is often subtle. Sometimes the difference can shift us from a general concept to a specific. Like, "He drank water." He consumed a liquid and that liquid was water. "He drank a water." Now we're saying that he drink one of something. Probably ...


28

The very brief answer is that "abandon ship" is an idiom, a stock phrase. There also seems to be a convention that orders of a military or quasi-military nature tend to be succinct, e.g., "Cease fire" or "About face." If a ship is sinking, an order that is concise is better than one that is grammatical.


26

"Of all time" means, essentially, ever. "The best artists of all time" means the best artists of any time, across all time, ever. This gets rephrased as "all time best", or "all-time best", but that means "best of all time"; the rephrasing loses the 'of' as "all time" becomes an adjunct (or attributive) noun phrase. "All the time" means, literally, "always",...


25

Lions in the zoo are very aggressive Can be paraphrased: When lions are put in a zoo they become aggressive. You are stating a general fact about lions in zoos everywhere. "in the zoo" need not refer to a particular zoo, just as "in the hospital" need not refer to a particular hospital. "in the zoo" there can be paraphrased as in captivity. If you want ...


25

Like so many other words in English (antique, chief, expert, orange, phony, suspect, etc.), "racist" works as both a noun and an adjective. He is racist. (adjective) He is a racist. (noun) Both have approximately the same nuance, but are used differently. As an adjective "racist" can describe actions, concepts, and objects as well as people. ...


24

A Victorian 23 knots means "23 knots, which is a speed you would have expected in the Victorian era"—that is, during the reign of Queen Victoria, 1837-1901.


22

The ODO says Vietnamese ADJECTIVE Relating to Vietnam, its people, or their language. ‘He liked Asian people, Vietnamese people in particular, and their culture, considerably more than he liked Australian culture.’ ‘We were representing a Saturday morning Vietnamese language school.’ NOUN 1 A native or inhabitant of Vietnam, or a person ...


21

The other answers may actually say this, but they are long and convoluted, and I don't see this in either of them.  So I'll just say it: You don't use an article when you're using a name. Cases where an article is part of the name, like The Hague, The White House, The Lord of the Rings, or An American in Paris, appear to be exceptions, but aren't, really....


19

"Do you have the time?" would be used to ask what time it is currently. "Do you have time?" would be used to ask if the person has time in their schedule. To the best of my knowledge "Do you have a time?" is not used at all, at least in standard American English. It can however be used as a phrase in a larger question (as graciously pointed out by J.R.). An ...


17

I'm not going to tell you in absolute terms that #1 is never a valid sentence but I can still tell you that they are not going to mean the same thing. It is not the case that the first one is "more specific". The answers so far have referred to countable nouns and trying to parse the sentence in terms of English dialects. I think the part about countable ...


16

The other answers are baffling me. As a native speaker of American English, #1 sounds absolutely wrong. You don't speak "an English", so you can't speak "an impeccable English". You speak "English", so "She speaks impeccable English" would be correct. If you wanted to distinguish between different kinds of English (American, British, Australian, etc), I ...


16

Because you are talking about the lions in the NY zoo, you should use the article. (Otherwise, your sentence makes it sound like you are talking about all lions at all zoos.) As for the accounting example, if you are talking about a specific course at an institution, or a particular section, use the definite article: The students in Accounting 101 are ...


14

There is a shade of meaning. Minkowski space is a mathematical entity that can be studied and applied to several different cases, but there is one specific case which stands out, as this entity describes the space-time in which "the laws of nature" are elegantly described (as part of Einstein's special relatively theory). So when you talk about "the ...


13

I've leafed through Quirk et al.'s "A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language". In the Note to Unit 17.88 they say this: Postposed numerals and letters perhaps imply the ellipsis of the words number and letter: "Line (number) 12"; equation (number) 4; room (number) 10A; ward (letter) C. If this is so, the phrases contain appositional ...


13

This answer addresses the two questions at the bottom of the body of your question, but only tentatively addresses the question in your title. The grammatical construct where the article is missing appears to be called the zero article. There is also a book written about the zero article. One might have thought that zero articles are used when the noun is ...


12

Family as used in the title is an uncountable noun. We don't use articles (a/the) to introduce such nouns. Family can be countable or uncountable. We need to be careful when thinking about the grammar of special text genre types such as titles, headlines, lyrics, elements of poetry, etc. The rules that describe more conventional prose are often ...


12

No, you can't. If you're talking about video baby monitors in general, you can say: A video baby monitor is also great for prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or Video baby monitors are also great for prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). If you're talking about a specific video baby monitor or about a specific type or model of ...


12

Both are grammatically correct, and the difference is just about what nuance the author wants the sentence to have. They do have slightly different meanings, however. A racist is a person who is racist, which is the state of holding prejudice against a specific demographic. So the sentence "He is racist" is saying "He is prejudiced", whereas the sentence "He ...


11

It looks plain wrong to me. There may be exceptions to this rule, but: Countable nouns (like "chaise longue", "book", and "Yeti") need an article (or another determiner). Uncountable nouns (like "archaeology", "information", and "terror") don't need one, and often shouldn't have one. Right: There was a chaise longue at the end of the dressing room. ...


11

Implied reference If your intended audience doesn't know that History Stack Exchange contains "posts", then you should omit the article. By omitting it, you are implicitly saying "I don't expect you to already know what is available to read on History Stack Exchange. So, I am informing you now: the things on History Stack Exchange that can be read are '...


10

It is not a mistake. In this usage, way is an adverb rather than a noun. The adverb way means "far", "at a great distance", etc.


10

There are various special cases, but in general: You include an article in English whenever you have a singular common noun (which usually refers to a class of entities (city, planet, person, corporation)). You omit an article with a proper noun (which usually refers to a unique entity, such as London, Jupiter, Sarah, or Microsoft). Articles are optional ...


10

Examples 1 thru 3 at least are grammatically valid. I am dubious about 4 in this specific case. However, they do not all mean the same thing, nor will the answers be the same for all possible nouns. We should pay attention to the quality of the presentation. This is the most obvious, it directs attention the the specific quality of a specific ...


9

The article wasn't dropped - it is correctly non-present. The general concept at play here is sometimes called "zero article" or "zero marking." The sentence would sound very strange to me if it had an article. Similarly, "Can we say we can call it the English grammar...." should not have an article. It is not about it being abstract or not. Abstract nouns ...


9

There's some subtle difference. If we're excited to go, but you cautiously say: Lions in the zoo are very aggressive. This sounds more general. I would get the idea that something about being in zoos tends to make lions more aggressive. There's a notion that this applies to all lions, and possibly all zoos. The lions in the zoo are very aggressive. ...


9

You shouldn't eliminate them. Typically the articles before rain and drizzle are necessary, because it's a specific instance of rain/drizzle that is causing your decision in the rest of the sentence. Once the rain was down to a drizzle, I decided to move on. The fact that you've described the rain doesn't necessarily allow you to eliminate the article. ...


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