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    #1

    Difference in meaning with or without "the"

    Situation: There is a catalog showing several electrical products.
    In the above case, what is the difference in meaning between the following sentences?


    1. Contact us for further information on electrical products shown in this catalog.
    2. Contact us for further information on the electrical products shown in this catalog.
    3. Contact us for further information on electrical products in this catalog.
    4. Contact us for further information on the electrical products in this catalog.



    Thank you in advance.


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    #2

    Re: Difference in meaning with or without "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Situation: There is a catalog showing several electrical products.
    In the above case, what is the difference in meaning between the following sentences?


    1. Contact us for further information on electrical products shown in this catalog.
    2. Contact us for further information on the electrical products shown in this catalog.
    3. Contact us for further information on electrical products in this catalog.
    4. Contact us for further information on the electrical products in this catalog.
    In this case, there is no difference in how any reader would construe these sentences.

    Sometimes there is a difference in meaning with or without "the" -- but not in this case.

    "electrical products' is a non-bounded term referring to the entire class of these items.

    "THE electrical products" points at some specific items previously mentioned.

    If the sentence had said, "Contact us for further information about electrical products." (with no qualifying phrase "in this catalog'), that would imply that the company is prepared to answer all possible questions about all the electrical products in the world, "electrical products" as a class.

    Some companies might say just that. The Glidden Paint Company might say, "Contact our Interior Design experts with all your questions about indoor paint" -- setting themselves up as experts on the topic of "indoor paints" as a class.

    But that interpretation is not possible because the sentence goes on to limit "electrical products" to those "in the catalog."

    That makes "electrical products in the catalog" as specific as "THE electrical products already mentioned in the catalog"

    "Ask me anything about dogs" means that I am an expert in the entire set of objects called "dogs" -- dogs as a class, or even "dogs" as a concept.

    But "Ask me anything about the dogs" is meaningless -- unless it is understood that we both know which dogs I am referring to specifically.
    ----------------------------------

    There is also no difference between "shown in this catalog" and "in this catalog." If the expression were contrasted with some other condition -- say "shown in this catalog" compared to "deleted from this catalog" -- then there might be a difference.

    But it can normally be assumed that any item IN the catalog is SHOWN in the catalog, so both expressions mean the same thing.

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    #3

    Re: Difference in meaning with or without "the"

    I thought that the definite article before "electrical products" were required because the electrical products were limited by the phrase "shown in this catalog."
    Is it okay to understand that "Contact us for further information on electrical products shown in this catalog" is acceptable because the phrase "shown in this catalog" does not limit the electrical products but simply explains that they are in the catalog?
    What about the following sentences?
    Situation: There is a pamphlet introducing several guitarists.
    Which of the following ones is better as a note on the back page of the pamphlet?
    1. Contact us for further information on the guitarists introduced in this pamphlet.
    2. Contact us for further information on guitarists introduced in this pamphlet.
    In this case, I think that the definite article before "guitarists" is required because the sentence is referring to the specific guitarists who are introduced in the pamphlet (and not just any guitarists in general).
    Is my understanding correct?


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    #4

    Re: Difference in meaning with or without "the"

    I thought that the definite article before "electrical products" were required because the electrical products were limited by the phrase "shown in this catalog."
    Is it okay to understand that "Contact us for further information on electrical products shown in this catalog" is acceptable because the phrase "shown in this catalog" does not limit the electrical products but simply explains that they are in the catalog?

    I think in this case the expression "shown in this catalog" does limit "electrical products." That is perhaps why it sounds fine with or without "the" -- the products have already been limited, so "the" is not necessary.

    I am here to tell you that the sentence sounds just fine with and without "the."
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    What about the following sentences?
    Situation: There is a pamphlet introducing several guitarists.
    Which of the following ones is better as a note on the back page of the pamphlet?
    1. Contact us for further information on the guitarists introduced in this pamphlet.
    2. Contact us for further information on guitarists introduced in this pamphlet.
    In this case, I think that the definite article before "guitarists" is required because the sentence is referring to the specific guitarists who are introduced in the pamphlet (and not just any guitarists in general).
    Is my understanding correct?

    I must say that I don't know quite WHY this situation is different from the first one, but for sure you need the word "the" in this case.

    Dropping it sounds too telegraphic.

    You could replace "the" with "any guitarist" (singular), and it would be okay. "with any of the guitarists" would probably be more common however.

    The same meaning is transmitted with fewer words by simply saying ". . on the guitarists introduced in this pamphlet."

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