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The questions are complicated Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 7:14:06 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 547
Neurons: 3,143
Sometime the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
~Dr. Seuss
I saw the above on Facebook.
I know that "questions" is a plural countable noun so needs either "the" or zero article.
How do I know when to use or omit them?
FounDit
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 11:31:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,008
Neurons: 42,727
Jigneshbharati wrote:
Sometime the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
~Dr. Seuss
I saw the above on Facebook.
I know that "questions" is a plural countable noun so needs either "the" or zero article.
How do I know when to use or omit them?

It depends on how you think of the questions. If you are thinking of any and all kinds of questions, then you would simply say, "Sometimes [all] questions are complicated...". This would refer to any question you can think of.

But if you are thinking of specific questions that might only be asked in a certain location, or on a certain, particular topic, then you would use "the" or "a" when referring to those/that question.
"Sometimes a question [here/now/on this topic] is complicated..."

"Sometimes the questions [here/now/on this topic] are complicated..."


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 11:44:42 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 547
Neurons: 3,143
Thanks and the explanation is lucid!
NKM
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 12:44:43 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 3,556
Neurons: 142,575
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Similarly, "explanation" can sometimes be an uncountable noun, and the criteria for its use are the same as FounDit has explained for "questions."

- "Questions are heard all the time; good explanations are less common."
- "FounDit has mastered the art of explanation."

FounDit
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 1:04:51 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,008
Neurons: 42,727
NKM wrote:
Similarly, "explanation" can sometimes be an uncountable noun, and the criteria for its use are the same as FounDit has explained for "questions."

- "Questions are heard all the time; good explanations are less common."
- "FounDit has mastered the art of explanation."
"Why, thank you, Sir."


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
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