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    #1

    THE threat or threat

    What's the reason that we use "the" before threat in this sentence? In dictionaries we wouldn't see that "threat" comes after "the".

    Many species of animals are under the threat of a reduction in numbers.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: THE threat or threat

    That sentence has no context. Having said that, it seems to me that the use of "the" there is optional. (You can use it or not.)


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    #3

    Re: THE threat or threat

    Even without context, I find the use of "the" there very unusual and unlikely. The standard phrase is "under threat of". That is not to say that "under the threat of" is not possible. In a differently constructed sentence, that is perfectly possible.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: THE threat or threat

    Quote Originally Posted by Freeguy View Post
    In dictionaries we wouldn't see that "threat" comes after "the".
    It's not a dictionary's function to state whether "the" should precede "threat" or not. You won't find dictionaries telling you that "threat" doesn't come after "the" either. Whether any word should be preceded by "the" or not is part of the context in which the writer uses it. A dictionary can't know that. (Note I'm referring to normal words like 'threat'. A dictionary might tell you that 'the' comes before some titles, like "Queen".)

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: THE threat or threat

    I would use "the" there because it is a specific threat.

  5. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: THE threat or threat

    Despite I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker, I'd use "the". I was surprised when I read post #3.
    Can I say it's a difference between AmE and BrE?
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: THE threat or threat

    Possibly. But one does not have to go global to find differences of opinions about article usage.

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: THE threat or threat

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    Can I say it's a difference between AmE and BrE?
    On the basis of one opinion from each? I hope you wouldn't make such a leap as that. Being "under threat" is a common collocation. If the sentence has read "Many species of animals are under threat from human activity" then 'the' would sound strange. (And no, it's not solely due to change of following adverb from 'of' to 'from'.)

  8. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: THE threat or threat

    I said that because I'm sure I came across with "under the threat" when I was in the US. I'd better go for "under threat" now.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  9. Raymott's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: THE threat or threat

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    I'd better go for "under threat" now.
    I'd advise you to wait for a context and make your decision then. If you want to say that your house is under threat from a bushfire (wildfire), then 'the' is wrong. If a person asks you "What threat?", you have to say "the ... threat ... "
    There's nothing special about this word "threat" - it takes 'the' before it in contexts where 'the' is needed, just like any other normal noun.

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