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  1. #1
    Axel Superstump's Avatar
    Axel Superstump is offline Newbie
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    The use of the definite article with categories and abstract names

    Hello everyone, I have a few questions I'd like to ask that concern the use of the definite article. Is it correct to say "Being in lovewith Greek culture, he could not pass up the occasion to go to Athens" or it is more correct to say "Being in love with the Greek culture..."? Also, in a case like thisone:
    Beingin love with the Ancient Greek culture, he could not let such anopportunity slip.
    is the use of the article an appropriate one, given the fact that we are talking about a specific form of (the) Greek culture, namely (the) Ancient Greek culture? Or is it correct to use the article in both cases since both of them concern a specific culture (the Greek one), as opposed to the general notion of 'culture', be it ancient ormodern or just a vague\general notion of (the) Greek culture. I am asking this because my book says that the definite article is never used with an abstract name and when we speak of categories (I thinkit also mentions that the definite article is never used with an adjective if it is or implies a category). However, I am not entirely sure what a category is and what exactly, from a linguistic standpoint (if any), an abstract name is. What is to be considered abstract and a category? Are there possible exceptions to this rule (i.e. if an adjective accompanies the abstract name or an expression further on in the sentence specifies the exact circumstances when aparticular event occurs, expressed by that abstract name). For example, in this expression: “After (the) completion of (the)film\filming”, what is the correct use of the definite article?
    I would be immensely appreciative if someone whose mother tongue is English (and\or has a solid background in English) could tell me which versions of the above sentences are correct (and also sound better), seeing as how, as of right now, this leaves me in an almost paralyzing doubt. I am Russian (articles do not exist in Russian),but I've been living in Italy for at least 10 years, and articles are used a bit differently in Italian, so this creates a certain amount of confusion for me. Also, if you notice any mistake, however small,in what I have written thus far, please let me know.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: The use of the definite article with categories and abstract names

    Quote Originally Posted by Axel Superstump View Post
    Hello everyone, I have a few questions I'd like to ask that concern the use of the definite article. Is it correct to say "Being in lovewith Greek culture, he could not pass up the occasion to go to Athens" or it is more correct to say "Being in love with the Greek culture..."? Also, in a case like thisone:
    Beingin love with the Ancient Greek culture, he could not let such anopportunity slip.
    is the use of the article an appropriate one, given the fact that we are talking about a specific form of (the) Greek culture, namely (the) Ancient Greek culture? Or is it correct to use the article in both cases since both of them concern a specific culture (the Greek one), as opposed to the general notion of 'culture', be it ancient ormodern or just a vague\general notion of (the) Greek culture. I am asking this because my book says that the definite article is never used with an abstract name and when we speak of categories (I thinkit also mentions that the definite article is never used with an adjective if it is or implies a category). However, I am not entirely sure what a category is and what exactly, from a linguistic standpoint (if any), an abstract name is. What is to be considered abstract and a category? Are there possible exceptions to this rule (i.e. if an adjective accompanies the abstract name or an expression further on in the sentence specifies the exact circumstances when aparticular event occurs, expressed by that abstract name). For example, in this expression: “After (the) completion of (the)film\filming”, what is the correct use of the definite article?
    I would be immensely appreciative if someone whose mother tongue is English (and\or has a solid background in English) could tell me which versions of the above sentences are correct (and also sound better), seeing as how, as of right now, this leaves me in an almost paralyzing doubt. I am Russian (articles do not exist in Russian),but I've been living in Italy for at least 10 years, and articles are used a bit differently in Italian, so this creates a certain amount of confusion for me. Also, if you notice any mistake, however small,in what I have written thus far, please let me know.
    Do not use an article in either case.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: The use of the definite article with categories and abstract names

    Quote Originally Posted by Axel Superstump View Post
    Hello everyone, I have a few questions I'd like to ask that concern the use of the definite article. Is it correct to say "Being in lovewith love with Greek culture, he could not pass up the occasion opportunity to go to Athens" or it is more correct to say "Being in love with the Greek culture..."? Also, in a case like thisone this one:
    Beingin Being in love with the Ancient Greek culture, he could not let such anopportunity an opportunity slip.
    Is the use of the article an appropriate one, given the fact that we are talking about a specific form of (the) Greek culture, namely (the) Ancient Greek culture? Or is it correct to use the article in both cases since both of them concern a specific culture (the Greek one), as opposed to the general notion of 'culture', be it ancient ormodern or modern, or just a vague\general notion of (the) Greek culture. I am asking this because my book says that the definite article is never used with an abstract name and when we speak of categories (I thinkit think it also mentions that the definite article is never used with an adjective if it is, or implies, a category). However, I am not entirely sure what a category is and what exactly, from a linguistic standpoint (if any), an abstract name is. What is to be considered abstract and a category? Are there possible exceptions to this rule (i.e. if an adjective accompanies the abstract name or an expression further on in the sentence specifies the exact circumstances when aparticular a particular event occurs, expressed by that abstract name). For example, in this expression: “After (the) completion of (the)film\filming”, what is the correct use of the definite article?

    I would be immensely appreciative if someone whose mother tongue is English (and\or has a solid background in English) could tell me which versions of the above sentences are correct (and also sound better), seeing as how, as of right now, this leaves me in an almost paralyzing doubt. I am Russian (articles do not exist in Russian) (no comma required) but I've been living in Italy for at least 10 years, and articles are used a bit differently in Italian, so this creates a certain amount of confusion for me. Also, if you notice any mistake, however small,in small, in what I have written thus far, please let me know.
    Please see my amendments in red above. Most of them appear to be formatting errors - it looks as if you have cut and pasted a lot of this post from somewhere else. Cutting and pasting in this forum frequently causes formatting errors, such as losing the spaces between words.

    You are not the first person on this forum to say that certain aspects of English grammar cause them "almost paralysing doubt". All I can say to that is - you need to worry less. Even non-natives who have lived in English-speaking countries for decades don't get to grips with certain aspects of the language. As long as you're being understood, there's no reason to be quite so upset about this stuff.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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