mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
a or the? Options
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 1:54:15 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
The introduction of computerized systems led to an increase in unemployment. - correct

What about this?

The introduction of computerized systems led to the/an increase of unemployment.
thar
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 2:13:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 25,449
Neurons: 103,256
Usually 'an'.
It depends on whether it has been previously intoduced.

Indefinite:
There are many times something has increased, and this is just one of them

..led to an increase in unemployment.
Because of this, wages fell and...


Or already mentioned
Definite:
In........ many people lost their jobs.
It was a combination of technological advances and recession that led to the decrease in unemployment.
This is unlikely, and sounds better with 'this' but is entirely possible.

Or defined immediately in a clause.
Definite:
... led to the increase in unemployment which fostered resentment tiwards immigrants and helped the rise of the fascist party.


But without that context of being previously introduced or immediately defined, it is indefinite. An increase, one of many increases.
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 2:56:10 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
It's logical... then why would it be wrong to use "a/an/-" in these examples?

1 a smell of grass (should be - the smell)
2 - streets of a town (should be - the streets)
3 We need to look at factors such as availability of health care. (should be - the availability)
4 A role of a student at university level varies greatly from country to country. (should be - the role )





sureshot
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 7:29:26 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 3,103
Neurons: 494,563
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
It's logical... then why would it be wrong to use "a/an/-" in these examples?

1 a smell of grass (should be - the smell)
2 - streets of a town (should be - the streets)
3 We need to look at factors such as availability of health care. (should be - the availability)
4 A role of a student at university level varies greatly from country to country. (should be - the role )


________________________

1. A smell of grass: It is possible to say "a smell of grass" or "the smell of grass". The determining factor is the context. There are different types of grass. We can use "a smell of grass" when the listener/reader does not know which specific grass is meant. The definite article "the" is correct when the listener/reader can identify which particular type of grass is being referred to e.g. "the smell of freshly cut grass after mowing the lawn".

2. Streets of a town: It is possible to say "streets of a town" or "the streets of a town. The determining factor is the context. The usual pattern is "the + streets of + a town". We don't use "the" with plural nouns to talk about things in general. The omission of "the" before "streets" is possible when we are talking about "streets" in general.

3 We need to look at factors such as availability of health care: In my view, the expression "the availability of health care" is commonly used. The pattern is "the + availability of + (something)".

4 A role of a student at university level varies greatly from country to country: Here too, "the role of a student" is commonly used. The appropriateness of "a role of ..." can be determined only after examining the context.
thar
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 7:30:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 25,449
Neurons: 103,256
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
It's logical... then why would it be wrong to use "a/an/-" in these examples?

1 a smell of grass (should be - the smell)
this only fits if there were several smells - one of them being grass.

2 - streets of a town (should be - the streets)
needs more context

3 We need to look at factors such as availability of health care. (should be - the availability)
this is using uncountable availibility - one item on a list, omitting the article
4 A role of a student at university level varies greatly from country to country.
this just looks wrong. (should be - the role )








Not everything you read is good English
Sometimes phrases are used without articles

read this as:
We have to look at factors such as -
-availibility of healthcare
-financial resources
-distance to healthcare facilities


Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 9:17:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
OK. Here comes the context.

It was a nice summer day. The weather was fine, the sun was shining in a blue sky, the air was fragrant with (THE/A) smell of grass and flowers. A dog which was running about (THE/-) streets of a little town saw a butcher's stall with lot of meat.

Which one would you use?
tautophile
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 9:43:57 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/14/2018
Posts: 2,021
Neurons: 49,964
I would use "the" for both of your "nice summer day" examples: "the smell of grass and flowers" aand "the streets of a little town".
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 9:52:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
tautophile wrote:
I would use "the" for both of your "nice summer day" examples: "the smell of grass and flowers" aand "the streets of a little town".


That's exactly what I knew was correct. But why is it that "the" is a must in those instances? Why not a and -?
sureshot
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 10:31:07 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 3,103
Neurons: 494,563
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
OK. Here comes the context.

It was a nice summer day. The weather was fine, the sun was shining in a blue sky, the air was fragrant with (THE/A) smell of grass and flowers. A dog which was running about (THE/-) streets of a little town saw a butcher's stall with lot of meat.

Which one would you use?

________________

1. The air was fragrant with (THE/A) smell of grass and flowers: The correct article is "the". The grass and flowers pertain to the area under reference. "Smell" has not been used in the general sense. It is identified with the specific grass and flowers in the specific area.

2. A dog which was running about (THE/-) streets of a little town saw a butcher's stall with lot of meat: Here also, the use of definite article "the" is correct. "Streets" has not been used in the general sense. The streets are identified with those in the little town. I would prefer to use "the" before little town". The town is identified, and there is no justification in using the indefinite article "a" before "little town". Additionally, I would say "a lot of meat". The omission of indefinite article "a" is incorrect.
thar
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 11:16:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 25,449
Neurons: 103,256
This is all about context. There is not one article that fits the noun. There is the article that fits the situation.

eg
The air was fragrant with the smell of grass.

The police approached the car. There was a smell of grass so they decided to ask the driver to get out of the the car. (grass- marijuana but that doesn't really matter, the point is the same).

Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 11:24:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 46,885
Neurons: 663,183
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Ivan,
I think I've given this link before, but here it is again:
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Articles.htm
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.