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  1. Yonsu99's Avatar
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    #1

    zero article + plural=definite article the + singular for generalization

    The zero article is used to refer generically to all members of a class.
    27a. Dogs are domestic animals.
    Articles in English
    the
    a — used before a singular noun to refer in a general way to people or things of a particular kindThis book gives some useful tips for the beginner. [=for beginners]
    The cobra is a poisonous snake. [=cobras are poisonous snakes]
    Learner's definition of THE
    It seems I can use either 'the singular noun' or 'plural noun with no article' to generalize a particular group or kind. Am I understanding correctly? Or is there any cognitive difference, for example between "The cobra is a poisonous snake." and "Cobras are poisonous snakes."?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: zero article + plural=definite article the + singular for generalization

    As far as I'm concerned, you're correct.

    Dogs are domestic animals.
    The dog is a domestic animal.

    Both sentences are correct and use "dogs" and "the dog" to refer to the collective species.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: zero article + plural=definite article the + singular for generalization

    When we use an adjective as a noun representing the group in general, we use the definite article.

    The poor should be supported.
    The rich have few worries.

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: zero article + plural=definite article the + singular for generalization

    You are exactly right. "The cobra is a poisonous snake" and "Cobras are poisonous snakes" mean the same thing.

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