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  1. #1
    Vik-Nik-Sor's Avatar
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    Default the needs of <the> customer

    We try to be responsive to the needs of the customer.
    An example from Longman dictionary

    Except that the "the" can refer to a particular customer here, can it also mean:
    used before a singular noun when making a general statement about people or things of a particular type
    The average university student is not very interested in politics
    ?
    Thank you.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: the needs of <the> customer

    In this case "the" customer means "any" customer. This is one case in which the use of "the" is tricky.

    The customer at table one is unhappy. (one specific customer)
    The customer is our main concern. (any customer)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: the needs of <the> customer

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    In this case "the" customer means "any" customer. This is one case in which the use of "the" is tricky.

    The customer at table one is unhappy. (one specific customer)
    The customer is our main concern. (any customer)
    In this case, could it be replaced by "a" here?:

    We try to be responsive to the needs of a customer.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: the needs of <the> customer

    "The" is better when used for the archetypal customer.

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