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    #1

    with or without "the"

    Hello everyone,

    I would like to know the grammar usage of "the" as follows:

    1. (The) Construction of (the) ABC bridge shall begin.

    Please explain if "the(s)" is/are needed in the above sentence. Many thanks.



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    #2

    Re: with or without "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by filmmaker View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I would like to know the grammar usage of "the" as follows:

    1. (The) Construction of (the) ABC bridge shall begin.

    Please explain if "the(s)" is/are needed in the above sentence. Many thanks.

    - The first "the" is not necessary to make the sentence grammatical (but it might always be either used or omitted in particular instances.)

    - The second "the" is required, since it points to a specific object.

    > Construction (considered as a general concept) of the ABC Bridge shall begin.

    > The construction (referring to some specifically-discussed construction) of the ABC Bridge shall begin.

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    #3

    Re: with or without "the"

    You're right if you are saying you don't need them here. The thing about bridges, like the Tsing Ma bridge, the Golden Gate and the Brooklyn Bridge, is that they tend to be proper names, and proper names vary in their need for the definite article. So I would suspect the second article, the one in the middle, would be included in many situations.

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    #4

    Re: with or without "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    - The first "the" is not necessary to make the sentence grammatical (but it might always be either used or omitted in particular instances.)

    - The second "the" is required, since it points to a specific object.

    > Construction (considered as a general concept) of the ABC Bridge shall begin.

    > The construction (referring to some specifically-discussed construction) of the ABC Bridge shall begin.
    But Ricoh Coliseum, Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium are proper nouns that don't take an infinitive (like London Bridge) so I think it varies.


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    #5

    Re: with or without "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    - The first "the" is not necessary to make the sentence grammatical (but it might always be either used or omitted in particular instances.)

    - The second "the" is required, since it points to a specific object.

    > Construction (considered as a general concept) of the ABC Bridge shall begin.

    > The construction (referring to some specifically-discussed construction) of the ABC Bridge shall begin.
    I don't quite get the usage of "the construction" when referring to some specifically-discussed construction. Would you mind giving some examples to explain it?

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: with or without "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by filmmaker View Post
    I don't quite get the usage of "the construction" when referring to some specifically-discussed construction. Would you mind giving some examples to explain it?
    As always, "the" just means that we have already mentioned this construction process, and we are showing our listener we are returning to a familiar one, rather than mentioning a new one.


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    #7

    Re: with or without "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    But Ricoh Coliseum, Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium are proper nouns that don't take an infinitive (like London Bridge) so I think it varies.
    That is a good point.

    I have also been speculating about the reasons for the location of those particular names -- ahead or behind.

    For example, why is it "Lake Ontario" but "Crystal Lake"?

    We have "Mount McKinley" and "Bald Mountain."

    "New York City" and "the city of New Orleans"

    "Danbury Baptist Church" and "the Church of the Covenant"

    "The Brothers Grimm" and "the Eisley Brothers"

    "Harvard University" and "the University of Texas"

    "Penn State College" and the "University of Pennsylvania"

    The "Eroica Symphony" and "Symphony No. 5 in C minor"

    "Ostankino Tower" and the "Tower of Babel"

    I've been wondering if it's all random, or if the choice is determined by some attribute or aspect of the words.


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    #8

    Re: with or without "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by filmmaker View Post
    I don't quite get the usage of "the construction" when referring to some specifically-discussed construction. Would you mind giving some examples to explain it?
    If the mayor called a press conference with some exciting news:
    "Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I would like to announce that construction on that long-awaited bridge will start tomorrow," he is not talking about some particular "construction" that had been the topic of a previous conversation. He is referring to "construction" in the abstract.

    But if there had been some contention or some discussion about the* construction -- if some people wanted things one way and some people wanted the work to go another way, the mayor would say:
    "So it's decided then. The construction (which we have been discussing) will follow Plan A."

    * Here I used "the construction" in just that way -- referencing back to the preceding sentences about "construction" turned it from an abstraction into a specific -- a reference to "THAT construction in particular," rather than "construction as a general concept."

    - The murder of Roger Ackroyd was a crime hard to solve.
    - Murder is a hard crime to solve.

    - He spent the money for the rent on gambling.
    - He wastes money all the time.

    - The women of Circassian Georgia are the most beautiful women in the world.
    - Women are beautiful.


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    #9

    Re: with or without "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    If the mayor called a press conference with some exciting news:
    "Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I would like to announce that construction on that long-awaited bridge will start tomorrow," he is not talking about some particular "construction" that had been the topic of a previous conversation. He is referring to "construction" in the abstract.

    But if there had been some contention or some discussion about the* construction -- if some people wanted things one way and some people wanted the work to go another way, the mayor would say:
    "So it's decided then. The construction (which we have been discussing) will follow Plan A."

    * Here I used "the construction" in just that way -- referencing back to the preceding sentences about "construction" turned it from an abstraction into a specific -- a reference to "THAT construction in particular," rather than "construction as a general concept."

    - The murder of Roger Ackroyd was a crime hard to solve.
    - Murder is a hard crime to solve.

    - He spent the money for the rent on gambling.
    - He wastes money all the time.

    - The women of Circassian Georgia are the most beautiful women in the world.
    - Women are beautiful.
    Thanks for your reply without an iota of ambiguity. I understand what you are saying here.... but from time to time, I encounter "official documents" containing sentences like:

    contruction/demolition of the (proper name) structure will commence/complete....

    and

    the contruction/demolition of the (proper name) structure will commence/complete....

    are these sentences just poorly written?


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    #10

    Re: with or without "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by filmmaker View Post
    Thanks for your reply without an iota of ambiguity. I understand what you are saying here.... but from time to time, I encounter "official documents" containing sentences like:

    contruction/demolition of the (proper name) structure will commence/complete....

    and

    the contruction/demolition of the (proper name) structure will commence/complete....

    are these sentences just poorly written?
    No, probably not.

    Probably the writer is unconsciously "hearing" the right usage, and it "sounds" to his ear that the construction has already been mentioned, so he uses "the" to refer to THAT PARTICULAR construction -- or else he omits "the" because he unconsciously opts to refer to "construction" as an abstract concept.

    I doubt that native speakers get this usage wrong, even uneducated speakers. I've never noticed ungrammatical speakers make this mistake.

    I understand that for ESL students, the shifting and slithery occasions for the use (or the omission) of "a" and "the" are problematic indeed.

    Just one more thing to throw up in English's face!!!

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