Use of the article 'the'

Discussion in 'English Only' started by diego.p, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. diego.p Junior Member

    Parma
    Italian (Northern Italy)
    Excuse me if this post is probably a double, I was not able to find a similar post in the forum.
    Here is my question: are those two sentences equivalent? Is one preferrable with respect to the other?

    1) Application should allow only authorised users to access...
    2) The application should allow only authorised users to access...

    My preference goes to (1), even if I cannot say why.
    Maybe it's not even a matter of preference, but (1) is wrong

    Thanks
     
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    I prefer the second version, diego.p. To me, the first version looks like something that somebody whose first language isn't English would say.

    Welcome to the forum.
     
  3. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    Some people use a "telegraphic" style such as the first one, leaving out all words that do not contribute directly to the meaning, in an attempt to make the statement shorter or (in their eyes) more businesslike. That doesn't change the fact that, as owlman5 posted, it's wrong.
     
  4. diego.p Junior Member

    Parma
    Italian (Northern Italy)
    It is actually my case: English is not my first language, and probably, as Egmont said, I prefer(red) the first version because it sounds more 'businesslike' to me...
     
  5. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    There is a difference in meaning.

    Application = hard work, intensive study, concentrated activity. E.g. He solved the problem with his intense application.
    An/the application = (a) a computer program. E.g. He solved the problem with a computer application.
    ............................(b) an official request. E.g. He solved the problem with an application to be transferred to another job.

    So in your instance, option 1 is wrong.
     
  6. diego.p Junior Member

    Parma
    Italian (Northern Italy)
    So, I can drop the article if the noun is something 'abstract'? For instance:

    "Intelligence is useful to understand things" instead of "The intelligence..."

    while

    "The book is on the table" is right and "Book is on the table" is absolutely wrong?

    For a native-italian speaker this is not immediate, because in italian I'd say

    "L'intelligenza è utile etc..." not even considering the possibility of eliminating the article.
     
  7. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    You're right for the most part.

    "Intelligence is useful to understand things." :tick:
    "The intelligence which we saw in him was an illusion." :tick:

    In the second example, intelligence is no longer an abstraction, it is a specific quality as defined in the relative clause.
     
  8. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    There is a well-known saying, 'Genius is ten per cent inspiration, ninety per cent perspiration'.
    You might paraphrase this roughly as 'Genius is ten per cent implication, ninety per cent application'.
     

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