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    #1

    The? owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.

    1. Owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.
    2. The owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.
    Which of the above sentences is correct?
    I need native speakers' help.

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The? owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.

    Both are fine.

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The? owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.

    Consider,
    Shopkeepers who sell cigarettes to children will be fined.

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    #4

    Re: The? owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.

    3. Shopkeepers who sell cigarettes to children will be fined.
    4. The shopkeepers who sell cigarettes to children will be fined.
    Are the above sentences also acceptable?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #5

    Re: The? owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    3. Shopkeepers who sell cigarettes to children will be fined.
    4. The shopkeepers who sell cigarettes to children will be fined.
    Are the above sentences also acceptable?
    I don't care for #4. "Shopkeepers" feels too vague to me for the article; we generally don't use this word in such a way as to be defined enough for this example.

    Note in your example #2, you said "The owners of shops...". That is a clearly defined group. The same pattern for #4 would be "The Shopkeepers of shops...", which would be very clumsy indeed, but would work with the article. Better would be "The keepers of shops...", though again it feels odd.

    #1, #2, or #3 are good. #4 just doesn't work for me.

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    #6

    Re: The? owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.

    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, Sitifan:

    1. Just a gentle reminder that it might sound more idiomatic to Americans if the word "minors" were used instead of "children."

    2. The following is ONLY my personal preference.

    a. If I were designing a sign for public display, I would write something like: "Stores that sell cigarettes to minors will be heavily fined."

    b. If I were a government official speaking to a group, I would say something like: "I know that you are all responsible business people, but please remember: the / those store owners (among you) who permit the sale of cigarettes to minors will be heavily fined."
    Last edited by TheParser; 28-Sep-2016 at 14:03.

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    #7

    Re: The? owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    1. Just a gentle reminder that it might sound more idiomatic to Americans if the word "minors" were used instead of "children."
    This American prefers children if that's what the writer intends. "Minors" is legally correct but potentially less clear to the reader.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: The? owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.

    There are also different definitions of "minors" in different countries. In some countries you might be a minor only until the age of perhaps 14, in others it might be 16 or 18, in others 21.
    Each country will have its own law on the minimum age at which someone can buy cigarettes (and alcohol, though this might be a different age).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: The? owners of shops selling cigarettes to children will be fined.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Both are fine.
    They are, but it sounds a bit better to me without the article- the generality makes it sound more universal.

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