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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Definite article vs no article with a specific example.

    I'm trying to explain why the two examples below use the definite article and no article specifically.

    A garden gnome was stolen and taken around the world. The owner of the garden gnome received a letter with a photo of the gnome in France. 1) THE letters continued every day for a month, with 2) (no article) photographs of the gnome in different parts of the world.

    Can we alternate 1) or 2) with either the definite article or no article? I understand we can use the definite article to refer to introduced nouns and for specific plural nouns within a greater group. But I'd like to understand how the no article in 1) and the definite article in 2) would work here. Thank you.

  2. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Definite article vs no article with a specific example.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    I think that in #1 we can use zero article before "letters". "Letters" would refer to letters in general, not some specific letters. I wouldn't use an article before "photographs".

    My $0.02.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 14-Nov-2012 at 18:17. Reason: typo + rewrite

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: Definite article vs no article with a specific example.

    Thanks for the reply. I thought that the article before "letters" would be more appropriate for the reason you already have given. I guess the use of the article in the second second example really depends on how much emphasis the speaker wants to give it.

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