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  1. #1
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    The definite article before of-phrases

    I have been confused by the use of the definite article or zero article before o-phrases. Take the following example, why zero article instead of the definite article is used before "Aspects" (As some of the grammar books tell us that the definite article should be used before of-phrases, but in here the zero article is used instead).

    "Aspects of the Irish constitution and its implementation are clearly oppressive as well as offensive to other minorities beside the Protestant one. "

    Could you elaborate further on the use of the defintie article or zero article before of-phrases and give some examples of them please ?
    (BTW, could you provide any links or books for my reference in this respect.)

    Thank you very much and have a nice day.

    Albertino

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: The definite article before of-phrases

    "Aspects of the Irish constitution and its implementation are clearly oppressive as well as offensive to other minorities beside the Protestant one. "

    [General and unspecified] Aspects of the Irish constitution [very specific constitution]

    of many people = general
    of the British people = specific


    of human interest = general
    of the human mind = specific

  3. #3
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Question Re: The definite article before of-phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    "Aspects of the Irish constitution and its implementation are clearly oppressive as well as offensive to other minorities beside the Protestant one. "

    [General and unspecified] Aspects of the Irish constitution [very specific constitution]

    of many people = general
    of the British people = specific


    of human interest = general
    of the human mind = specific
    Thank you.
    One more question. So, the definite article used before or after of-phrases depends on whether the nouns are general or specific. Am I right?

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    Re: The definite article before of-phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    ... why zero article instead of the definite article is used before "Aspects" (As some of the grammar books tell us that the definite article should be used before of-phrases, but in here the zero article is used instead).
    Aspects isn't defined; it's left undefined.

    Defined
    The (specific) aspects of the Irish constitution that we are going to discuss today are as follows.

    Does that help?

  5. #5
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The definite article before of-phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Aspects isn't defined; it's left undefined.

    Defined
    The (specific) aspects of the Irish constitution that we are going to discuss today are as follows.

    Does that help?
    In your example, it does ("aspects" is modified by the "that clause". However, in my initial understanding, "aspects" is modified by "the Irish consitution (=the Irish consitution's aspects) " so that it was specific, isn't it? (Pardon, maybe I am wrong.)

    Are there any rules governing the use of the definite article before "0f-phrase"?

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    Re: The definite article before of-phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    In your example, it does ("aspects" is modified by the "that clause". However, in my initial understanding, "aspects" is modified by "the Irish consitution (=the Irish consitution's aspects) " so that it was specific, isn't it? (Pardon, maybe I am wrong.)
    Yes and no. Your thinking is right on track. The term "defined", to me, means sematically defined, not structurally defined--what you call "defined". More clearly, the noun aspects is plural; add the and it becomes "specific"; take the away and it becomes non-specific (in Anglika' s post "unspecific"), irrespective of its modifier. That's the rule governing the use of the definite article before of-phrase.

    Does that help?

  7. #7
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The definite article before of-phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Yes and no. Your thinking is right on track. The term "defined", to me, means sematically defined, not structurally defined--what you call "defined". More clearly, the noun aspects is plural; add the and it becomes "specific"; take the away and it becomes non-specific (in Anglika' s post "unspecific"), irrespective of its modifier. That's the rule governing the use of the definite article before of-phrase.

    Does that help?

    Yelp, thanks so much.

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    Re: The definite article before of-phrases

    Ooh, sorry. Was it helpful, really?

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