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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 21st, 2012, 06:39 pm
CKC CKC is offline
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Default use of the definite article

.......

Last edited by CKC : Sep 27th, 2013 at 03:04 am.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 22nd, 2012, 10:36 am
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Default Re: use of the definite article

If you notice, all the nouns which you cite as being used without the article (collection, receipt, notification) are quite different from the others (university, history). Those in the first group all express actions - in fact, a verb has been nominalised in all cases. You could easily rewrite the phrases with a verb construction: After collecting CAI ... / We would like to inform you that we have received... / He has been notified of....

Some other examples which I've found include : We expect payment of all outstanding invoices by.... / Rectification of this fault is achieved by.../ the current standard of care for treating HCV patients involves combination of an oral form of ribavirin with...

In all cases, grammatically the article could be included. So I would hypothesise that the explanation is : when a noun is in fact a nominalised action, followed by a prepositional phrase with "of", the article is optional and often omitted.

I can't find any mention of this in any grammars or reference sources though, so it is only a hypothesis. But it seems to fit the data I've found so far. Can anybody think of any counter- examples?

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Unread Aug 22nd, 2012, 06:10 pm
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Default Re: use of the definite article

many thanks susan.

Last edited by CKC : Sep 27th, 2013 at 03:10 am.
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Unread Aug 23rd, 2012, 03:41 am
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Default Re: use of the definite article

Yes - good one. It happens with all other titles too :
She is Head of the Science Departmant at the local school.
He is Professor of Economics at XXXX University.
She's Assistant Marketing Director at XXXX.
She was crowned Queen of the Netherlands in 19XX


Again, the use of the article is optional - it can be included but is often omitted.

So, two diverse categories here : nominalisations and titles. Back to the drawing board....
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Unread Aug 24th, 2012, 02:55 am
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Default Re: use of the definite article

In fact, this one does crop up in the grammar of Contemporary English (Quirk et al, Longman). Having said that definite reference requires the definite article, they then say:

However, the zero (or definite) article is used with the noun complement after copulas and "naming verbs" such as APPOINT, DECLARE, ELECT.

They then give examples similar to the ones I gave above. There's no explanation though - just the statement that it happens.
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Unread Aug 24th, 2012, 07:56 am
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Default Re: use of the definite article

......

Last edited by CKC : Sep 27th, 2013 at 03:13 am.
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Unread Aug 24th, 2012, 10:57 am
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Default Re: use of the definite article

Yes, the zero or definite article would imply "the only one", with the indefinite article indicating "one of a number" :

Michael E. Chernew, PhD is a Professor of Health Care Policy in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.
Mary Beard is a Professor of Classics.
Thomas C. Foster is a professor of English at the University of Michigan-Flint,


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Unread Aug 24th, 2012, 09:52 pm
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Default Re: use of the definite article

ha~~

thanks susan
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Unread Aug 26th, 2012, 10:00 pm
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Default Re: use of the definite article

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
If you notice, all the nouns which you cite as being used without the article (collection, receipt, notification) are quite different from the others (university, history). Those in the first group all express actions - in fact, a verb has been nominalised in all cases. You could easily rewrite the phrases with a verb construction: After collecting CAI ... / We would like to inform you that we have received... / He has been notified of....

Some other examples which I've found include : We expect payment of all outstanding invoices by.... / Rectification of this fault is achieved by.../ the current standard of care for treating HCV patients involves combination of an oral form of ribavirin with...

In all cases, grammatically the article could be included. So I would hypothesise that the explanation is : when a noun is in fact a nominalised action, followed by a prepositional phrase with "of", the article is optional and often omitted.

I can't find any mention of this in any grammars or reference sources though, so it is only a hypothesis. But it seems to fit the data I've found so far. Can anybody think of any counter- examples?

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hello, I have often been puzzled by these things too. So would it be correct if we said: We expect THE payment of invoices, etc?
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Unread Aug 27th, 2012, 03:56 am
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Default Re: use of the definite article

Yes - as I said above, when the noun is actually a nominalised verb is used, the article seems to be optional. Sometimes you see it, very often you don't.
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Unread Aug 31st, 2012, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: use of the definite article

......

Last edited by CKC : Sep 27th, 2013 at 03:16 am.
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Unread Sep 1st, 2012, 03:50 am
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Default Re: use of the definite article

No - it's just the same as all the other examples : "leader" tells you his position, just like "President" or "Head of Department". So the article is optional.

This type of sentence is typical of journalistic genres - a noun phrase in apposition with (= juxtaposed with and equated to) the name, sometimes with the definite article omitted, sometimes not. Here are some more examples which I found in 2 mins just browsing the BBC News website today :

a) With omission of the definite article

Film critic Roger Ebert said the actor had come across as "sad and pathetic".
Martin Johnson, director of the Thalidomide Trust, told the BBC that ....
Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez said operations could resume within two days of the site being declared safe.
The fighting came as Syrian Prime Minister Wail al-Halqi met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

b) With the definite article included

The lead researcher Dr Angela Attwood told the BBC...

As you can see, the omission is far more common than the inclusion.
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Unread Sep 1st, 2012, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: use of the definite article

o I see. trillion thanks.
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