I've always been puzzled about whether to use 'the' before 'traffic':
Traffic was heavy and cars were closing up. (OALD6, close up)
His voice was drowned by the traffic. (CAMBRIDGE LEARNER'S, drown)
The noise of the traffic kept me awake. (LONGMAN 3rd edition, traffic)
She complained about the traffic keeping her awake at night. (LONGMAN 3rd edition, the)
Traffic was brought to a halt by the demonstration. (MACMILLAN, halt)
the huge volumn of traffic in the city centre (MACMILLAN,traffic)
I suppose the traffic is bad at the beginning of the day, isn't it? (LONGMAN 2nd edition)
The traffic's very heavy this morning.(LONGMAN 2nd edition, traffic)
Could you tell me if there's one hard and fast rule for the word 'traffic' with or without 'the' . Thank you very much.
This is the only phrase where I would not use "the" before traffic
the huge volume of traffic in the city centre (MACMILLAN,traffic)
It isn't a complete sentence but that doesn't matter. I cannot explain why this sounds awkward with a "the" added but it does. Perhaps the "the" before "huge volume" carries over to "traffic" as well.