# Thread: use of the definite article with a plural noun: an example from academic writing

1. ## use of the definite article with a plural noun: an example from academic writing

Hello,

this is a real life example of the problem I discussed in a separate post

"...155839-use-definite-article-plural-noun"
regarding the meaning of

THE + A PLURAL NOUN

construct. Here is an example from an article that I am writing:

"In the previous studies it was shown that [the] equation system for [the] exact factorial moments is given by..."

Are [the]s correct? How would a native English speaking person understand this sentence.

Regards
Zoran

Of course, a factorial moment is diligently defined in the introduction. It is simply an object labeled by an integer index. The full set of factorial moments is infinte

f0, f1, f2, f3, f4, ... never stops

I am not sure how to refer to this full set, using "the" or without it.

2. ## Re: use of the definite article with a plural noun: an example from academic writing

The first "the" is necessary. The second is probably optional.

3. ## Re: use of the definite article with a plural noun: an example from academic writing

If I want that say something like

(1) "In the previous studies it was shown that [the] equation system for the full set of factorial moments, f0, f1, f2, f3, etc up to infinity is given by..."

could I say it like this

(2) "In the previous studies it was shown that [the] equation system for the exact factorial moments is given by..."

Please note the second "the" in the sentence. Are (1) and (2) equivalent?

4. ## Re: use of the definite article with a plural noun: an example from academic writing

I'm not sure why you have the word "exact" in there.

I would use the second "the" in both sentences.

5. ## Re: use of the definite article with a plural noun: an example from academic writing

f0, f1, f2, f3, etc up to infinity
This is usually written like this:

f0, f1, f2, f3,...

It's unambiguous and short. If you want to stick to your version, lose the "etc" (which requires a full stop) because it's widely considered poor style to use abbreviations when they're unnecessary. "And so forth" works very well.

6. ## Re: use of the definite article with a plural noun: an example from academic writing

Originally Posted by zorank
(1) "In the previous studies it was shown
Do you mean some previous studies you have mentioned before? If not, write "in previous studies".

7. ## Re: use of the definite article with a plural noun: an example from academic writing

Originally Posted by SoothingDave
The first "the" is necessary. The second is probably optional.
In which situation it would be optional? I am fishing for an example. What the context has to look like?

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