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    #1

    Why some plural nouns need an article the in front

    Why some plural nouns need an article the in front?

    Is an placed correctly in the above sentence?

    Thank you,

    Anna

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    #2

    re: Why some plural nouns need an article the in front

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna2004 View Post
    Why do some plural nouns need an the article "the" in front of them?

    Is "an" placed correctly in the above sentence?

    Thank you,

    Anna
    See my annotations in red above. You needed to say "the article 'the' ..." or "the definite article".

    You will have to give us some examples of these plural nouns which must apparently be preceded by "the".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    re: Why some plural nouns need an article the in front

    So there is no formula for plurals. You have a full dictionary of nouns we can change to plurals. How do I know which ones need the article "the" in front of them? It's so confusing.

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    #4

    re: Why some plural nouns need an article the in front

    Use of an article is not based on whether a noun is singular or plural. It's based on context and sentence structure.

    Here are a couple of examples but there are plenty of other constructions.

    Birds have wings. (General statement - no article.)
    The birds have wings. (We know which birds are being referred to - article necessary.)
    I have birds in my loft. (There are some birds in my loft - no article.)
    I have the birds in my loft. (We know which birds are being referred to - article necessary.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    re: Why some plural nouns need an article the in front

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Use of an article is not based on whether a noun is singular or plural. It's based on context and sentence structure.

    Here are a couple of examples but there are plenty of other constructions.

    Birds have wings. (General statement - no article.)
    The birds have wings. (We know which birds are being referred to - article necessary.)
    I have birds in my loft. (There are some birds in my loft - no article.)
    I have the birds in my loft. (We know which birds are being referred to - article necessary.)
    Hello ems

    If we make general statements, can we say "The birds have wings" and "A bird has wings"?

    Thanks.

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    #6

    re: Why some plural nouns need an article the in front

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post

    If we make general statements, can we say "The birds have wings" and "A bird has wings"?
    As general statements: 'Birds have wings'; 'A bird has wings'.

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    #7

    re: Why some plural nouns need an article the in front

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    As general statements: 'Birds have wings'; 'A bird has wings'.
    Generalisations with singular countable nouns

    Sometimes we talk about things in general by using 'the' with a singular countable nouns. (68 Articles (8): talking in general by Michael Swan)

    I was wondering what 'sometimes' mean in the above sentence. If we make general statements, can we say "The bird has wings" as well as "Birds have wings" and "A bird has wings"?

    Thanks for your help.

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    #8

    re: Why some plural nouns need an article the in front

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Generalisations with singular countable nouns

    Sometimes we talk about things in general by using 'the' with a singular countable nouns. (68 Articles (8): talking in general by Michael Swan)

    I was wondering what 'sometimes' mean in the above sentence. If we make general statements, can we say "The bird has wings" as well as "Birds have wings" and "A bird has wings"?

    Thanks for your help.
    I don't know what Michael Swan meant by "sometimes", but it usually means "not always". We can say "The elephant (elephant in general) has a long trunk" or "An elephant (no particular elephant) has a long trunk" or "Elephants (all elephants) have a long trunk".

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