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Are my three questions grammatically wrong? Options
robjen
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 4:07:58 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/2015
Posts: 570
Neurons: 3,154
I have written down a few questions below.

(1) Is there free parking for staff? (my colleague's question)

(2) Is there free parking for the staff? (a possible question I would ask)

(3) Does the company have free parking for staff? (a possible question I would ask)

(4) Does the company have free parking for the staff? (my question)


I am a new employee in my current company. Last week, I asked my colleague about free parking.

I used (4), and he rephrased my question and used (1). He is a native English speaker. For sure, his grammar is excellent.

Are (2), (3) and (4) grammatically wrong?

Thanks a lot.
thar
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 4:48:23 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 17,417
Neurons: 70,562
They are not grammatically wrong, but the difference is between the idea, the concept - staff - any people who fit in the category of 'people who work there',
and
'the' staff - that is specific - the specific people who work there.

But you don't need to be specific, because this is about the idea, the group.
The company has staff, and it may have customers. It may have parking for staff, and it may have parking for customers. It may have parking for visitors.
These are all conceptual groups, not specific people. You are specifying them enough by calling them 'staff' because if you are asking if a company has free parking for staff you are obviously talking about their staff - not all people who are staff in any company in the town!

For example:
The company has free parking for staff.
That is anyone within that group - the individuals will change as people join and leave.

The robber came in and threatened the staff.
That means he threatened those particular people who were there on duty when he came in, but together you are calling them the staff of the company.

By adding 'the', you are adding an implied defining clause.
What you are asking is:
Is there free parking for the staff who work here?

But that is redundant. Staff are people who work here!
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 7:38:03 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 985
Neurons: 390,393
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
In a nutshell -- they're fine.
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