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    • Join Date: Dec 2007
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    #1

    The definite article

    I have some questions about the use of articles. Grateful if you could give an account of them.

    (1)
    "Beyond the stars, the astronaut saw nothing but space."

    - Why should "the" be used in front of stars? Do they mean the planets?

    (2)
    "For many westerners, dreams of living in a green area are becoming a reality."
    "It's quite obvious that the aging population in Spain will cause (without "a") heavy pressure on the whole society in the future."

    - In this pair of sentence, the former uses an indefinite article before the uncount "reality", whereas the latter uses without before the uncount "pressure". Why is that?

    Thank you.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: The definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    I have some questions about the use of articles. Grateful if you could give an account of them.

    (1)
    "Beyond the stars, the astronaut saw nothing but space."

    - Why should "the" be used in front of stars? Do they mean the planets?

    Because 'stars' is specific, Dee, it's the ones he sees, so it requires 'the'. I think stars here means stars, not planets.

    When we say,

    "Beyond stars", it takes on a non-specific meaning. I can't think of an xample now using beyond so I'll use regarding.

    With regard to stars [as a general topic], we'll be studying them next week.


    (2)
    "For many westerners, dreams of living in a green area are becoming a reality."
    "It's quite obvious that the aging population in Spain will cause (without "a") heavy pressure on the whole society in the future."

    - In this pair of sentence, the former uses an indefinite article before the uncount "reality", whereas the latter uses without before the uncount "pressure". Why is that?

    Thank you.
    'reality' is both countable and uncountable, Dee.


    M-W

    reality

    1: the quality or state of being real

    2 a (1): a real event, entity, or state of affairs <his dream became a reality> (2): the totality of real things and events <trying to escape from reality> b: something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily

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