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  1. nik4's Avatar
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    #1

    Question "I entered the classroom during the lesson. Students were paying attention."

    Hello everybody! Please, help to clear out some particularities of the articles' usage...

    "I entered the classroom during the lesson. Students were paying attention."


    Here the first sentence gives enough information that there must be students there. And then I introduce them in the second sentence.

    1) Is it correct usage?

    2) What will be the difference from saying "the students"?

    3) I understand no article can mean introducing some of the students there, but can mean all, so it's vague but acceptable, however when I mean roughly all, saying with no article as an introduction here would be unnatural.

    Do I feel it right?

    Please, help. Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: "I entered the classroom during the lesson. Students were paying attention."

    With no article or quantifier the meaning is less clear. Compare : -

    All (the) students
    Some students
    A few students
    Most students

    The usage is not incorrect however without an article of quantifier a question may arise in the reader/listener :-

    How many students? Is the situation normal? Are there others (non-students) present (who were not paying attention e.g. parents)

  2. nik4's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "I entered the classroom during the lesson. Students were paying attention."

    Thank you.
    Could you please explain the next examples:

    "I looked at the building. A roof was covered with leaves".

    "I turned on a computer. I realised that files were corrupted."

    All people know for sure there are files on a computer and one roof on a house, but will be an indefinite/zero article an error?

    Can I introduce all the files with zero article, will it be a mistake? Is it a mistake to say a roof?

    If yes, I suppose it is just unnatural then, right?

    I'd be glad if someone makes it clear.

  3. Roman55's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "I entered the classroom during the lesson. Students were paying attention."

    I am not a teacher.

    'A roof' is not natural unless it isn't the only roof, and even then it would be better to say, 'One of its roofs...' As it stands I would say 'the roof' or 'its roof'.

    'I realised that files were corrupted', definitely leaves the reader with the impression that not all of them were.

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