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  1. #1
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    Definite article

    Hello,

    do I need the definite article in the following sentence?

    Everyone, the blacks and the whites, had to fight against segragation.

    I guess it`s not needed...
    Thank you!!!

  2. #2
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    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Wink Re: Definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by molla222 View Post
    Hello,

    do I need the definite article in the following sentence?

    Everyone, the blacks and the whites, had to fight against segregation.

    I guess it`s not needed...
    Thank you!!!
    Since black and white are also nouns describing people with black and white skins, it's okay if you don't use the definite article. However, if you use black and white as adjectives, it is necessary that you use the.
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  3. #3
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Definite article

    As a rule, when speaking of black and white people use the definite article:

    The black enjoy the same priviledges as the white.

    However, in your sentence, I would write:

    Everyone, black or white, had to fight against segregation. (in terms of colour, no definite article)

    Or: Both the black and the white had to fight against segregation. (b&w people, use article)
    Last edited by bianca; 05-Jul-2007 at 17:56.

  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: Definite article

    I would say:

    1. Everyone, black and white, had to fight against segregation.
    2. Black and white alike had to fight...
    3. Blacks and whites had to fight...
    4. The blacks and the whites had to fight...

    But #4 sounds a little casual, for this context; it sounds as if the speaker wishes to distance himself from both blacks and whites.

    MrP

  5. #5
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Definite article

    I agree with 1, 2 but not 3 and 4. Blacks and whites???

  6. #6
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: Definite article

    Yes indeed, e.g. from Coombes, The Black Experience in America:

    1. Both advocated a working-class solidarity of blacks and whites which would resist exploitation by capitalism.

    2. Throughout the North both blacks and whites, with the aid of the Federal Government, were alienated by this new long arm of the peculiar institution which reached deep into their communities.

    3. What they hoped for was that slaves from the surrounding territory would join them and, eventually, that the uprising would reach such proportions as to compel the whites to come to terms with them.

    MrP

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