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  1. #1
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    Default Countable singular noun without an article

    Hello,

    A countable singular noun can appear without any article in some contexts. For example, in newspaper headlines.

    Can it appear without an article when referring to it in a general sense?
    For instance, something like:

    "Lion is one of the strongest animals."

    I know that in that example, the definite article is normally used. However, is omitting the article possible (and natural)?

    What other examples in full natural sentences would you find where a singular countable noun appears without an article?

    Thank you.

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    Default Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    Hi echelon,

    No, in your example, you need an article.

    Only in headlines or bulleted list or other examples of a terse writing style (does anyone send telegrams any more?) will it sound okay to omit the article.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Default Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    Thank you!

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    Default Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    By the way, is the following sentence natural when referring to lions in a general sense?

    "A lion is one of the strongest animals."

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    Default Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    What other examples in full natural sentences would you find where a singular countable noun appears without an article?
    Means of transportation:(plane/ship/car/bike)
    I travel by car.

    Notice we say: Alan goes to school on foot

    Seasons: In winter, we will travel to Australia

    Meals: I had two eggs for breakfast

    Institutions: school/mosque/church/jail/prison
    I don't go to school on Friday

    Diseases: He has cancer

    Time of day: We traveled mostly by night


    SOURCE: Click here

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    Default Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    Thank you.

    Those are excellent examples, and a much better response than mine.

    Even so, there are always exceptions: He has cancer. She has a cold. He has the flu. She has pneumonia. He suffered a stroke. Or Usually I go to school by bus, but today I came home in a taxi. In short: Articles are REALLY hard to get right!

    The "lion" example still needs an article. You can use "A lion" if you need to introduce us to the idea of a lion, but you would use "The lion" to give us facts that relation to the animal known as the lion (and we both already know what a lion is).
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Default Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    The "lion" example still needs an article. You can use "A lion" if you need to introduce us to the idea of a lion, but you would use "The lion" to give us facts that relation to the animal known as the lion (and we both already know what a lion is).
    That is extremely helpful! Thank you very much!

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    Default Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    In short: Articles are REALLY hard to get right!
    That's right.

    A related question: I was asked the following question a few weeks ago.
    My answer was: (A) and (B) are possible answers. What do you think?

    He used ___ in eating.

    A- a fork and a spoon
    B- a fork and spoon
    C- fork and a spoon
    D- fork and spoon

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    Default Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    I agree.

    He used a fork and spoon to eat or He used a fork and a spoon to eat both sound okay to my ear. (However, note I'd say "to eat" and not "for eating."

    (Also, I just noted a typo in my prior post - it should be "that relate to" not "that relation to." I hope that error did not cause any confusion.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Default Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    Hi there

    Can we use a singular countable noun without an article, when it refers to general idea of something? for example when we use gerunds.

    eg. Unemployment is the result of bad management.

    Thanks,

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