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    #1

    definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    Hello teachers,

    Need your help again with regard to the use of the definite article.

    Here are some examples (in all these sentences, I have inserted the definite article):


    1. Many alkaloids of economic value are extracted from the stem bark.
    Question: There is also the root bark, so should we use the definite article to be specific?

    2. The bark juice is used on wounds.
    Question: Should the be used in this sentence, as there are other juices?

    3. The bark is used for making fibers and paper.
    Question: I feel the definite article is required here, but I am not sure. If the article is required, what would be the rule here?

    4. The methanolic extract of the root bark is reported to have some cytotoxic activity against human lung cancer.
    Question: There is ethanolic extract as well; that would make the extract specific, right?

    5. Latex is used for making high-quality chewing gum.
    Question: I am not sure whether the word “Latex” needs the definite article here. Either way, could you tell me why?

    6. The phytochemistry of various parts of the plant is therefore being evaluated in order to use their phytochemicals for the treatment of diabetes.
    Question: Is the definite article correct here? If yes, is it because of the of-phrase?

    7. Gum is also known to have hypolipidemic activities.
    Question: Again, I am not sure whether the word “Gum” needs the definite article here. Either way, could you tell me why?

    Thanks a ton for your patience!
    Last edited by LaMelange; 16-Mar-2017 at 15:20. Reason: to correct space issues

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    #2

    Re: definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    Did you write these sentences? If so, are they part of a larger text?

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    #3

    Re: definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    No. They are random sentences from a chapter in a book titled Medicinally Important Trees, by Khan (pre-press). Sorry, I do not have the full name of the author.

    The chapter has sections, each of which talks about the distribution, morphological characteristics and the medicinal properties of a particular species of a genus.

    As the book is written by a non-native English speaker, all chapters have grammatical issues.
    Last edited by LaMelange; 17-Mar-2017 at 05:21.

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    #4

    Re: definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    The problem is, the isolated sentences you provide lack enough context for us to answer effectively.

    1) By using the, you're adding specific reference to the sentence, which may or may not be appropriate.

    stem bark = a general kind of bark
    the stem bark = the stem bark of some specific tree

    Which is correct? I can't be sure because I don't really understand what stem bark is but I assume the book means stem bark in general, so no article should be used.

    Question: There is also the root bark, so should we use the definite article to be specific?
    No. The definite article does not specify which kind of bark, it species which stem bark. This is where I think you're going wrong with your understanding.

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    #5

    Re: definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    As jutfrank said, it depends on the context. Why don't you write a passage using some of these sentences and let us have a look at it?

    You can post it to the Editing and Writing Topics sub-forum.

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    #6

    Re: definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The problem is, the isolated sentences you provide lack enough context for us to answer effectively.
    I get your point. Here is a paragraph from a section of the chapter (As I said earlier, each section talks about a different tree):

    [The] fruits, leaves, bark, and root of [the] plant are traditionally used in ethnomedicine systems, including Ayurveda, Unani, and Homeopathy, to cure diseases like anorexia, fever, mouth ulcer, sore throat, syphilitic pain, burning sensations, scabies, and epilepsy. Traditionally, [the] plant can also be used to cure cancer by applying a dressing of [the] plant extract to cancerous wounds. [A] decoction is also prepared by taking equal amounts of different parts of [the] plant and making a thin paste, by crushing them, and boiling it until half [the] amount of water is left, and then applied during [the] early stages of cancer. Boiling is also done in mustard oil, and [the] oil left is applied to wounds [The] leaf decoction is used to treat fever, diarrhea, and earache. [The] stem is known to possess antipyretic activity and tendon-strengthening property. It is popular in [the] indigenous system of medicine and used in gut motility disorders like diarrhea and constipation. [The] plant wood is used to manufacture household utensils and spoons.

    Here is another one talking about a different species of tree:

    Cones and leaves are used internally as an astringent. [The] decoction of cones and leaves is used in a sitz bath three times a day for 1 week for the treatment of hemorrhoids. [The] essential oil is used as an antiseptic and antispasmodic for cough.

    One more paragraph about another tree:

    Alstonia is reported to possess analgesic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, immunostimulant, anti-cancer, and hepatoprotective effects. The bitter milky exudate is used for treating ulcers and wounds. [The] methanolic extract of [the] root bark is reported to have some cytotoxic activity against human lung cancer. Cardioprotective activity of [the] ethanolic extract of [the] plant is reported at doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg in isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction in rats. Hepatoprotective activity of [the] fruit is reported in rats induced with CCl4 hepatotoxicity. Hepatoprotective activity of [the] methanolic extract of [the] bark is also observed at 200 mg/kg in Swiss albino rats with CCl4-induced damaged liver.


    All the articles within square brackets have been added by me. Could you please tell me whether they are OK? Also, wherever I have gone wrong, it would be of great help if you could tell me why.

    Thank you very much for the patience.

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    #7

    Re: definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    I shall definitely try this soon. Right now, I have given a few paragraphs from the book, with articles inserted by me. Could you please have a look at them? I can't thank you enough!

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    #8

    Re: definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    That's quite a lot to do. Let me start with the first paragraph only. I've separated each instance of article usage, and made a comment on this usage.

    [The] fruits, leaves, bark, and root of [the] plant are traditionally used in ethnomedicine systems, including Ayurveda, Unani, and Homeopathy, to cure diseases like anorexia, fever, mouth ulcer, sore throat, syphilitic pain, burning sensations, scabies, and epilepsy.
    Both necessary here.

    Traditionally, [the] plant can also be used to cure cancer...
    Necessary.

    by applying a dressing of [the] plant extract to cancerous wounds.
    Appropriate.
    (You could use its here.)

    [A] decoction is also prepared
    Necessary.

    by taking equal amounts of different parts of [the] plant and making a thin paste,
    Necessary.

    by crushing them, and boiling it until half [the] amount of water is left,
    Necessary.

    and then applied during [the] early stages of cancer.
    Appropriate.

    Boiling is also done in mustard oil, and [the] oil left is applied to wounds.
    Necessary.

    [The] leaf decoction is used to treat fever, diarrhea, and earache.
    Necessary.

    [The] stem is known to possess antipyretic activity and tendon-strengthening property.
    Necessary.

    It is popular in [the] indigenous system of medicine and used in gut motility disorders like diarrhea and constipation.
    Necessary.

    [The] plant wood is used to manufacture household utensils and spoons.
    Necessary.

    You are correct in every case -- well done. This shows me you have a good feel for article usage, so I haven't bothered explaining why you're right.

    If I myself am mistaken, or have missed anything, I hope the other members of this forum will point it out.

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    #9

    Re: definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMelange View Post
    All the articles within square brackets have been added by me.
    Are you sure about that?
    I'd like to know the source of that text; and please provide a link if you can.

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    #10

    Re: definite article/zero article---[The] Bark juice is used on wounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    This shows me you have a good feel for article usage.
    How I wish what you said were true! From time to time I try reading some stuff about article usage online and think I know the basics, but then I get such books with horrible article usage, and I go nuts. I find that it is not always easy to apply or extrapolate the rules to a given context!

    Thanks a million for the trouble you have gone through to help me out!

    Your previous explanations and teechar's went a long way in helping me. I also did some random online checks of similar sentences (botanical stuff). Sometimes, I just go by the ear!

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