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  1. #1

    Smile the usage of the definite article "the"

    I have a question about the usage of the article "the".

    If I want to begin my sentence as follows, which one is correct?

    A. One should recognize the importance of health.
    B. One should recognize importance of health.

    In these two sentences, I wonder which one is correct. In this case, do I have to use the definite article "the" before "of health" simply because it is modified by this "of phrase"?
    Or I don't need to put "the" before "of health" because "importance" is an uncoutable noun with a generic meaning regardless of the modifying words "of health"?
    Or are both possible?

    When I searched the Google site with the phrase both "the importance of health" and "importance of health", I could find many examples matching both of them; that is, with "the" and without "the" before "of health". Although this result suggests that both the sentences are possible, but I am not sure about this because many grammatically incorrect expressions are commonly used in the public.
    Colins Cobuild Dictionary provides examples on this, and all the examples begins with the importance of sth. This strongly indicates that the answer must be "the importance of" form. But I want to know why.
    I really want the teachers in this forum to elaborate on this question.

    In addition, regarding the usage of the article, I would like to know differences in meaning between the following three sentences, esp in relation to _ expansion of form like: "expansion of", "an expansion of", and "the expansion of".

    1. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that in a speech to the NATO summit scheduled for Tuesday, he will repeat his call for an expansion of NATO forces to all provinces of Afghanistan before the September elections.

    2. Plans no longer call for expansion of US Postal Service facilities and construction of additional North Field cargo facilities, both of which were components in the 1997 program.

    3. Bush also tied his call for the expansion of liberty with America's own historic desire for liberty.

    I would be sorry if too many questions distrubed you. But your excellent answers may be of great help to me in further improving my English.


  2. Editor,
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    Re: the usage of the definite article "the"

    A. One should recognize the importance of health.
    B. One should recognize importance of health.

    Here, the first is right. Many differernt things can have importance, but here you are going to focus on one in particular- health, rather than justice, etc.

    1 an expansion of NATO forces - here, he is asking for a single expansion, while the Postal Service could be exapnsion in more than one area. You could say 'the expansion' in the seond example because it is specific, like Bush's call. Bush is call is more specific than Karzai's because Karzai has called for it, but it hasn't fallen in general discussion yet.

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