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  1. #1
    kooiu is offline Junior Member
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    definite article, zero article

    I want thank people on this site for their help for me, especially in the use of English articles. I am still having some problems with of-phrases involving noncounts.

    Please help indicate which of the 3 sentences after "A" says what "A" says.

    A. I have developed a method that can be used to analyze a wide diversity of problems in sociology.

    Do the following say exactly what "A" says and why?
    1) I have developed a method that can be used for analysis of a wide diversity of problems.
    2) I have developed a method that can be used for the analysis of a wide diversity of problems.
    3) I have developed a method that can be used for analyzing a wide diversity of problems.


    B. Two important aspects of the framework were developed in our first article. One aspect is the distinction among three categories of decision making. The second is the elucidation of the fundamental elements that can be used for analysis of outcomes.

    I do not know why "the" before elucidation, and not before "analysis of outcomes".




    C. A framework is needed to allow for expression and comparison of diverse theories.

    I do not know why "the" is not used before "expression and comparison of diverse theories".

    D. Does "Analyses" in general (countable noun) means "Analysis" generally (the process of analyzing) (uncountable noun).
    I asked this questions because in a story, it was written,"Support for weak people was supported by legislative intervention in the Ben case. Legislative interventions in the Ben case also indicated the need to make new rules for weak people. An intervention in the Ben case involved two legislators from district two who condemned inaction by the executive when weak people like Ben need support from government."
    Since "intervention" is an uncountable noun, I am not sure why it became countable in the second sentence in a general sense.
    Last edited by kooiu; 11-Jan-2008 at 23:17. Reason: for clarity

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: definite article, zero article

    Quote Originally Posted by kooiu View Post
    I want thank people on this site for their help for me, especially in the use of English articles. I am still having some problems with of-phrases involving noncounts.

    Please help indicate which of the 3 sentences after "A" says what "A" says.

    A. I have developed a method that can be used to analyze a wide diversity of problems in sociology.

    Do the following say exactly what "A" says and why?
    1) I have developed a method that can be used for analysis of a wide diversity of problems.
    2) I have developed a method that can be used for the analysis of a wide diversity of problems.
    3) I have developed a method that can be used for analyzing a wide diversity of problems.
    Firstly, I would use 'range' instead of 'diversity. I would say that the third is probably the closest, but there is little difference here to me. We can talk about a general analysis, as in the first, or a specific one, as in the second, but I really don't see that there would be much difference in the results. It would only make a great difference if we had specific analytical methods laid out for use.


    Quote Originally Posted by kooiu View Post
    B. Two important aspects of the framework were developed in our first article. One aspect is the distinction among three categories of decision making. The second is the elucidation of the fundamental elements that can be used for analysis of outcomes.

    I do not know why "the" before elucidation, and not before "analysis of outcomes".


    You could happily use a second article there. However, you could argue that before you have elucidated the elements, the analysis is not specific.



    Quote Originally Posted by kooiu View Post
    C. A framework is needed to allow for expression and comparison of diverse theories.

    I do not know why "the" is not used before "expression and comparison of diverse theories".

    With these examples, I think that much of the usage comes down to personal taste and that different writers might do things differently. I think that it comes down to whether the writer sees expression as a fixed thing or as a more general term.

  3. #3
    kooiu is offline Junior Member
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    Re: definite article, zero article

    Tdol,
    Thank you for your prompt and useful help. This is a fundamentally useful site for foreigners interested in speaking and writing good English.

    Please throw light on "D" as well. Thanks

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: definite article, zero article

    'Analyses' doesn't just mean the same as 'analysis'; it does suggest that at least two separate things are performed. Together, they do constitute 'analysis', but the use of the plural suggests that this is important. If you substituted it with the uncountable noun, you might be losing some meaning.

    'Intervention' can be both countable and uncountable. Here, they specify one of them, so the plural makes sense to me.

  5. #5
    kooiu is offline Junior Member
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    Re: definite article, zero article

    Thank you Tdol.

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