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    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 4

    Use of 'the' , 'a'

    Hi all,

    I am a bit confuse when to use "the"... despite I knew that for the one which is definte and firm to say , we have to use "the".

    So, of the following which one is correct to write
    1) I apologies for the late reply.
    2) I apologies for late reply.

    Similarly in the sentense
    "Here are the details requested by you" - Is it proper to write/say ?

    Is it right to write "a data" or "the data" ..?

    Kindly help.

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886

    Re: Use of 'the' , 'a'

    As their names imply, use the definite article (the) when you are referring to something definite. On the other hand, the indefinite article (a/an) is used for generic reference. This rule does not always hold true, mind.

    I did not study the use of articles from books. I play them by ears.

    1) I apologise/apologize for the (=my being late at hand, now - definite) late reply.
    2) I apologise/apologize for late reply.

    "Here are the details requested by you"
    the details that you requested - specific

    Is it right to write "a data" or "the data" ..? -- It depends on what you want to say. The context determines which article is to be used.


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