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Thread: A/The/Nothing?

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    #1

    A/The/Nothing?

    Dear Forum Users,

    I am writing an essay, in which I analyse part of the so-called SIR model. One part of the model is not analysed. Which of these is appropriate to say:

    1.
    THE explanation of the setup phase of the SIR model is not relevant to the present discussion. Therefore, I decided not to include this stage in the analysis of the doctor joke.

    2.
    AN explanation of the setup phase of the SIR model is not relevant to the present discussion. Therefore, I decided not to include this stage in the analysis of the doctor joke.

    3.
    Explanation of the setup phase of the SIR model is not relevant to the present discussion. Therefore, I decided not to include this stage in the analysis of the doctor joke.

    Thank you.

    Csika

  1. a_vee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A/The/Nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Csika View Post
    Dear Forum Users,

    I am writing an essay, in which I analyse part of the so-called SIR model. One part of the model is not analysed. Which of these is appropriate to say:

    1.
    THE explanation of the setup phase of the SIR model is not relevant to the present discussion. Therefore, I decided not to include this stage in the analysis of the doctor joke.

    2.
    AN explanation of the setup phase of the SIR model is not relevant to the present discussion. Therefore, I decided not to include this stage in the analysis of the doctor joke.

    3.
    Explanation of the setup phase of the SIR model is not relevant to the present discussion. Therefore, I decided not to include this stage in the analysis of the doctor joke.

    Thank you.

    Csika
    They are all okay, but they have shades of different meaning. "A/an/the" is a hard topic. There are some rules, but the use often depends on tradition or context.

    Here's my opinion:

    When you say "the explanation" it is like you are implying that there is one, unique, pre-existing explanation that you don't want to give OR the idea of explaining in general is not necessary.

    "An explanation" sounds less specific, like you have not tried to explain yet.

    "Explanation" sounds like the activity of explaining as a topic. It sounds like "I don't want to spend time doing that activity."
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    #3

    Re: A/The/Nothing?

    Thank you very much, a_vee!

    Pal

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