difference between "health" and "the health"

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sora1999

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Could anyone teach me when you use the definite article "the" with an abstract noun such as health, and when you do not use one?
The search results tell me that you say "good for the health" rather than "good for health", but why do you need a definite article there?
 

probus

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The search result that gave you that advice is wrong. A fluent speaker would normally say "good for health". I would use "good for the health" if health was further qualified. For example, it is okay to say "That would be good for the health of everyone."

One common reason for using "the" with health is when health is being used as a substantive adjective. Examples: The health care system, the health initiative, the health network. In those cases, the definite article really pertains to the noun that health is modifying.

The definite article is also sometimes used when health is the subject of a sentence and is further qualified. Examples: The health of the nation, the overall health of cancer survivors.
 

emsr2d2

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In BrE, we would indeed say "Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day is good for the health".
 

probus

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In BrE, we would indeed say "Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day is good for the health".

Amazing. Having lived in London for three years, I never learned this.

As we say in AmE, I guess I should have listened harder. :-D
 
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emsr2d2

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Eating a balanced diet is good for the health.
Doing a Sudoku every day is good for the mind.
Exercising regularly is good for the body.

And finally, as we all know, we need chicken soup for the soul! (Well, except us vegetarians of course!)
 
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