The usage of the definite article is still difficult to me.
The following description might be boring to native speakers of English, but I would like to hear your opinion.
According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, “the” is
“used before nouns referring to actions and changes when they are followed by 'of':
‘the growth of the steel industry’
‘the arrival of our guests’”
I understand the above basic rule.
What confuses me is that the following sentence appears in the same dictionary.
‘The killings are part of a campaign of elimination of the political opposition.’
There is no definite article (the) before “elimination” in the above sentence (not ‘The killings are part of a campaign of the elimination of the political opposition.’) though it is followed by ‘of’.
Native speakers of English can intuitively find whether “the” is required or not, but I am not a native speaker of English. I need to find some rules.
Then I came to a hypothesis that in the above sentence, “campaign of elimination” almost sounds like one word and that is the reason “the” is not required, and moreover, “elimination of” can be replaced with the ing-form “eliminating,” i.e., ‘The killings are part of a campaign of eliminating the political opposition.’ I guess that “the” may be omitted in such “of-phrases.”
The following paragraph was quoted from a UK site.
‘The port of Dar Es Salaam is continuing to experience difficulties with extreme congestion and slow operations. The port has stopped acceptance of mail for all Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar destinations for the immediate future.’
According to my hypothesis “The port has stopped acceptance of mail” is fine. “The port has stopped the acceptance of mail” is fine, too. The “acceptance” can be replaced with the ing-form “accepting.”
Is my guess wide of the mark?