definite article+plural noun(the+plural noun)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bonbon2023, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. bonbon2023

    bonbon2023 Senior Member

    Source:The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:
    [often passive] space something (+ adverb/preposition) to arrange things so that they have regular spaces between them:
    "Space the posts about a metre apart."
    the(definite article) 6 used before the plural of somebody's last name to refer to a whole family or a married couple:
    Don't forget to invite the Jordans.

    I've thought that definite article(the) before plural noun is not grammatical but the definition 6. However, as the+plural noun construction is used in the dictionary, is 'the+plural noun' construction widely accepted and used in BrE or AmE? If not, do many people think it is wrong?
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  2. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Where did you learn the "rule" I highlighted in red? The words in it are red. "The" can be followed by a singular or plural noun in all forms of English.
  3. bonbon2023

    bonbon2023 Senior Member

    Thank you. I learned it from some grammar books in Korea which covers English grammar and from sites appeared on Google when I searched 'comma and plural'.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  4. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Perhaps your grammar books are wrong, or perhaps you misunderstood them.

    Where the plural noun is a generalisation: no article. Clouds are formed by moisture in the sky.
    Where the plural noun is specific: an article. Clouds formed over the town; the clouds were dark grey.
    Where the plural noun could be either: optional. [The] Americans eat baked beans.
    Where the plural noun is an adjective without 's': an article. The French think baked beans are horrible.
  5. bonbon2023

    bonbon2023 Senior Member

    Thank you for another piece of information.

Share This Page