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  1. rainous's Avatar
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    #1

    using articles

    The last date for the payment of annual membership fee was 30th June, 2011.

    The last date for the payment of annual membership fees was 30th June, 2011.

    The last date for the payment of the annual membership fee was 30th June, 2011.

    The last date for the payment of the annual membership fees was 30th June, 2011.


    Could anyone help me understand how each sentence differs in meaning from the others?

    and also, are they all grammatically OK?

    Thanks

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: using articles

    The first is not correct. The second suggests that the message is addressed to everybody; the third does not convey this idea explicitly. The presence (in the second) and absence (in the fourth) of the definite article is not significant here. There is no real difference between the second, third and fourth in practice.

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    #3

    Re: using articles

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    (1) The last date for the payment of annual membership fee was 30th June, 2011. Because the fee is a specific payment type i.e. annual, I would use "the annual membership fee".

    (2) The last date for the payment of annual membership fees was 30th June, 2011.
    In this case "annual membership fees" is OK (without "the") because it is more general and refers to all fees by everyone.

    (3) The last date for the payment of the annual membership fee was 30th June, 2011. OK

    (4) The last date for the payment of the annual membership fees was 30th June, 2011. I would prefer #2.

    Finally, in all examples I would not use "the payment" because "payment" is a general term. If the specific amount of payment preceded the term, then I would use "the", as in "the $25 payment".

    Could anyone help me understand how each sentence differs in meaning from the others?

    and also, are they all grammatically OK?

    Thanks
    b.

  3. rainous's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: using articles

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    b.
    Thanks for the thorough explanation.

    I am still trying to get my head around your last point about not using "the" in front of "payment".

    I don't understand how it should be treated as a general term when it can also be seen as specific in terms of "the payment of the annual membership fee".

    I found the below sentence on the web. Would you elucidate on how the usage of "payment" differs compared to the previous sentences?

    "The payment of past-due rent will give her time to look for less-expensive housing."

    Thanks

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    #5

    Re: using articles

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    Thanks for the thorough explanation.

    I am still trying to get my head around your last point about not using "the" in front of "payment".

    I don't understand how it should be treated as a general term when it can also be seen as specific in terms of "the payment of the annual membership fee".

    I found the below sentence on the web. Would you elucidate on how the usage of "payment" differs compared to the previous sentences?

    "The payment of past-due rent will give her time to look for less-expensive housing."

    Thanks
    I don't say that it is incorrect, but you will notice I used the terms "would/would not". I just think it is unecessary and, at least in AmE, I think you would see/hear your examples without "the".

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