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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Zero article?

    One of my students wrote:
    In my city I most frequently use such means of transport as bus, trolley-bus and tram.

    A grammar rule says that when we are talking about something in general we use no article before a noun. So, is the students' sentence correct?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Zero article?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    One of my students wrote:
    In my city I most frequently use such means of transport as bus, trolley-bus and tram.

    A grammar rule says that when we are talking about something in general we use no article before a noun. So, is the students' sentence correct?
    Without an article, I would be more likely to use the plural. Note that "such means of transport as" is rather wordy and a little unnatural.

    In my city, I most frequently use buses, trolley-buses and trams.
    In my city, I most frequently use the bus, trolley-bus and tram. (Here, only one "the" is necessary. It is assumed to refer to the following three nouns".)

    If the student really wants to use a phrase including "transport", then perhaps:

    In my city, my preferred forms of transport are the bus, trolley-bus and tram.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Zero article?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    A grammar rule says that when we are talking about something in general we use no article before a noun.
    Where did you find that rule?

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    #4

    Re: Zero article?

    hi,
    Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker;

    I have a lots of problem with using articles myself as they are non-existent in Polish.
    I do recall a rule I've learned about using the zero article with means of transport as a general concept; but as far as I remember it was in construction with the preposition -by like in :
    I generally travel/go to work by bus/tram/....
    I go there by air
    So if I might .... if the sentence would read:

    In my city, I most frequently go/travel by [?] bus, trolley-bus and tram.
    do we need an article there ?

    Regards

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Zero article?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaskin View Post
    hi,
    Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker;

    I have a lots of problem with using articles myself as they are non-existent in Polish.
    I do recall a rule I've learned about using the zero article with means of transport as a general concept; but as far as I remember it was in construction with the preposition -by like in :
    I generally travel/go to work by bus/tram/....
    I go there by air
    So if I might .... if the sentence would read:

    In my city, I most frequently go/travel by [?] bus, trolley-bus and tram.
    do we need an article there ?

    Regards
    It depends on the preposition.

    I frequently go by bus.
    I frequently go on the bus.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: Zero article?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It depends on the preposition.

    I frequently go by bus.
    I frequently go on the bus.
    @emsr2d2, thank you.

    I am ashamed to admit that after all these years, I still have this problem (of not being sure when to use 'the' and when not to). I would not have said 'I frequently go on bus', that is, I would correctly say 'go on the bus', but I might have made the mistake of saying 'go by the bus'.

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    #7

    Re: Zero article?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    One of my students wrote:
    In my city I most frequently use such means of transport as bus, trolley-bus and tram.

    A grammar rule says that when we are talking about something in general we use no article before a noun. So, is the students' sentence correct?
    Although a little literary, it is possible to omit the articles here, although in more prosaic, daily usage we would generally insert the definite article.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Zero article?

    This seems to be similar to the recent example we had of "Michael is 26 and, when not singing, works as plumber and barman" to which no one (except me) would give their approval, I think.

  6. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Zero article?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This seems to be similar to the recent example we had of "Michael is 26 and, when not singing, works as plumber and barman" to which no one (except me) would give their approval, I think.
    Is it because your English is Australian?)
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  7. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Zero article?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Where did you find that rule?
    Sorry, the rule reads "before plural nouns when we're talking about something in general".
    Last edited by englishhobby; 14-Jun-2013 at 13:32.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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