Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 27
    #1

    Using the definite article THE before the word nature.

    Hi there! I am trying to find a definitive answer of WHY we do not use the word "the" before the word nature...

    Madeleine and I said that the biggest advantage must be that you get closer to the nature.

    I know that in this instance that you do not use the word THE as it is used in the sentence above. This is a reoccurring error that my Swedish students make but while I know it is wrong I cannot find an exact answer why in any of my grammar books to show them, apart from me saying - you cannot do that it is wrong.....

    Any ideas on what the actual rule is concerning the definite article and "nature" ?
    THANK YOU!!!!!!

  1. heidita's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Europe

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 1,436
    #2

    Re: Using the definite article THE before the word nature.

    HI swede, this might come in handy, here we are talking about a generic term, like love, hate, etc.

    3. Is the noun generic?
    Generic reference is used when one refers to a whole group or class, to generalize about all possible members of a group. There are five patterns one can use:

    a) no article PLUS plural count noun:

    It's astonishing what gymnasts can do.
    b) no article PLUS noncount noun:
    Love can cause a lot of suffering.

    c) indefinite article PLUS singular count noun:
    It's astonishing what a gymnast can do.
    [This pattern cannot be used to discuss the location or existence of
    something/someone. You cannot say A lion lives in Africa. You
    must use pattern (a) or (d)].
    d) definite article PLUS singular count noun:
    It's astonishing what the gymnast can do.
    e) definite article PLUS plural nationality noun:
    The Chinese have an ancient culture.
    Pattern (a) is most common in colloquial English; pattern (d) is frequently used in academic writing.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,104
    #3

    Re: Using the definite article THE before the word nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by swedish meatball View Post
    Hi there! I am trying to find a definitive answer of WHY we do not use the word "the" before the word nature...

    Madeleine and I said that the biggest advantage must be that you get closer to the nature.

    I know that in this instance that you do not use the word THE as it is used in the sentence above. This is a reoccurring error that my Swedish students make but while I know it is wrong I cannot find an exact answer why in any of my grammar books to show them, apart from me saying - you cannot do that it is wrong.....

    Any ideas on what the actual rule is concerning the definite article and "nature" ?
    THANK YOU!!!!!!
    Nature is an abstract noun, and an abstract concept, which doesn't take an article.
    Similarly we do not usually use the article for things like: happiness, love, beauty, etc. in the context of "Tell me about happiness .... Do you believe in love? ... What is beauty?".
    There's nothing special about "nature" itself.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 27
    #4

    Re: Using the definite article THE before the word nature.

    Thank you... you have confirmed what I thought..I was beginning to wonder whether I was wrong (don't you hate self doubt when you are marking!!!!) as it is the one mistake my students make over and over again...and I have been unable to find any exact reference to "nature" when going through my grammar books on articles!
    Thanks again!

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] gerund (with or without of) and definite article
    By demimcgovern in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-Sep-2008, 22:38
  2. definite vs. zero article (production)
    By Lenka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-Oct-2007, 23:17
  3. Definite article with proper nouns
    By sabyakgp in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-Sep-2007, 18:16
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-Jun-2007, 09:28
  5. should there be a definite article in front of "part&qu
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Nov-2003, 04:48

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •