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  1. #1
    vgv8 is offline Banned
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    When is zero article used for a noun denoting known subbject?

    The penultimate question of "EXERCISE 2" in world-english(dot)org(slash)articles.htm
    - "I can't believe I failed ___ yesterday's test!"
    has the correct answer for (asked in __) article as NOTHING.

    Why?
    My answer would have been "the"
    The person seems to be speaking with himself and both participating in this dialogue knows about which test one of them told to another.
    Last edited by vgv8; 26-Dec-2010 at 04:37. Reason: I have removed this link for the second time because it was still broken. Please learn how to link

  2. #2
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    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: When is zero article used for a noun denoting known subbject?

    ***Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.***

    What exactly do you mean?
    So the correct answer (according to the test is):
    I can't believe I failed yesterday's test!


    I would have said:
    I can't believe I failed at yesterday's test!

    And you say it should be:
    I can't believe I failed the yesterday's test!


    In my opinion you don't need the here because yesterday already tells us which test you mean.
    If there were several tests yesterday, it could make sense to use the, in order to refer to a specific one.

    Cheers!

  3. #3
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: When is zero article used for a noun denoting known subbject?

    You wouldn't use "the" with yesterday's no matter what. Compare these sets of sentences.

    I can't believe I lost Laura's book.
    *I can't believe I lost the Laura's book.
    I can't believe I lost the book that belongs to Laura.

    I can't believe I failed yesterday's test.
    *I can't believe I failed the yesterday's test.
    I can't believe I failed the test yesterday.
    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.

  4. #4
    vgv8 is offline Banned
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    Re: When is zero article used for a noun denoting known subbject?

    Barb_D and Nightmare85, thanks!
    Can you indicate me a rule for omission of an article (for zero one).
    I cannot find any, for example in "EXCEPTIONS TO USING THE DEFINITE ARTICLE"
    while "4. THE DEFINITE ARTICLE" of "UNDERSTANDING THE ARTICLE AND OTHER WORD CLASSES" (pdf)tells that "THE" is used with genitives(Examples: "The girl’s friends, the butcher’s shop"

    As far as I cannot hook to a rule or some mnemonics the examples are quite useless to me.
    Or to overdiscuss it to death


    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    In my opinion you don't need the here because yesterday already tells us which test you mean.
    If there were several tests yesterday, it could make sense to use the, in order to refer to a specific one.
    I thought that the rules are that either "THE" :
    - "2. when both the speaker and listener know what is being talked about, even if it has not been mentioned before";
    - when the test is one and only, there are no other tests;
    or "A" :
    - for "one of a number of the same" tests
    Last edited by Tdol; 26-Dec-2010 at 07:59. Reason: Broken link removed

  5. #5
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: When is zero article used for a noun denoting known subbject?

    Quote Originally Posted by vgv8 View Post
    "THE" is used with genitives (Examples: "The girl’s friends, the butcher’s shop"
    The pattern is as follows:


    • the girl's friends
      • the girl has friends / the friends of the girl's




    • the butcher's shop
      • the butcher has a shop / the shop of the butcher's




    • the yesterday's test
      • the yesterday has a test
      • the test of the yesterday's
        • the meaning we want is there was a test yesterday


    • yesterday's test

  6. #6
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: When is zero article used for a noun denoting known subbject?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    ***Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.***

    In my opinion you don't need the here because yesterday already tells us which test you mean.
    That's correct. In other words, use 'the'—unless there's possessive adjective:


    • Go get the paper. <no adjective>
    • Go get the Monday paper. <adjective>
    • Go get Monday's paper. <possessive adjective>


    Possessive adjectives and articles hold the same structural position, which is why they cannot co-occur. You have to choose one, not both:


    • the papers
    • my papers
    • the my papers
    • my the papers
    • the test
    • yesterday's test
    • the yesterday's test
    • yesterday's the test

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