I am not a teacher but a newbie.
Would you please tell me which of the following sentences are wrong?
1) The / That book contained very little useful information.
"The", the defintie article, which is one of the determiners: use it when both the speaker and listener know which book the speaker refers to. "That and this", which are one of the demonstrative pronouns, to show distance between the speaker and the subject matter,: to show the book is away from the speaker, use “that”; to show the book is near to the speaker, use “this”.
"little" is used for the uncount noun "information" as in contrast to "few" used for the count noun like "few students"
2) People think I live in luxury but I don’t think a BMW is a luxury.
The use of the indefinite article to indicate generalisation, which means "any" BMW" here, while "a luxury" means "one of" here, as there are many luxuries in the world, e.g the designer bags, luggage, etc.
3) Call a porter, it’s too much luggage for you to carry.
"Too much" is a quanlifier of the uncount noun "luggage", in contrast to "too many" for count nouns.
4) a) The news that thelocal newspaper contains is shocking.
"News"(Question: What news?)(Answer: Not others but the news of "the local newspaper". So, it is specified, and the definite article is used here.
"The local newpapers" is used to distinguish themselves with "the foreign newspapers"
b) This news that a local newspaper contains is shocking.
Easy. It means one of the local newspapers.
c) This piece of news that a / the (?) local newspaper contains is shocking.
It depends. If you want to say one of the local newspaper, used the indefinite article. However, if you want to say there is only one local newspaper(and the reader knows what you are referring to), used the definite.
5) She bought a Picasso the last week of her stay in London.
"A Picasso" is used in the concrete sense, it stands for a drawing/picture of Picasso.
As for "The last week" , please look at the following examples:
Let's say, if the current time is "20 July 1994" , "last month" means "June 1994"
Next, if the current time is "20 July 1994", "the last month" means "20 June 1994 - 20 July 1994. So, "the last week" means 7 days before now.
However, in my opinion, the focus here seems to be "the last week of her stay in London". In this case, "the" is the definite article which specifies the last week when she stayed in London.
6) The equipmentin this laboratory is rather old.
"Easy". "The equiment of this laboratory(not others but this), so it is specified. Equipment" is an uncount noun, so the verb takes a singular form.
7) Cocker Spaniel / A Cocker Spaniel (?) is one of the most popular pet dogs.
Since Cocker Spaniel is a dog which is countable, an article must be used. Here, it means a member of the class "Cocker Spaniel", so an indefinite article is used.
In superlatives, the definite article is used, so we have "the most, the best, the ugliest..."
"Pet dogs", no article is used, as it conveys a general sense: all pet dogs which are unspecified.
8) English is an appealing language but I don’t feel the same about the English.
("An appealing language"- since "English" is one of the languages that appeals in the world, an indefinite article is used. "The same" is a fixed expression. : )
9) There is a wonderful scenery in the eastern part of Turkey.
"A wonderful scenery": "Scenery" is an uncount noun; so zero article should be used in front of wonderful."
Hope this may help, though a bit late.
Student or Learner