a key to

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Senior Member
Hello, everyone.

i don't know if 'key' can be used as a countable or uncountable noun or not. Can i use 'a key' or do I have to use "the key". Thanks

High-level technology is a key to people's physical health.
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It can be either. If it is uncountable (meaning "the essential thing"), then you are better off without an article, I think. If it is countable, then it means "a necessary thing", or possibly just "one means of doing"; after all, there might be several keys to a door, but you only need one of them to open it.


    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I think it sounds more idiomatic as "the key to ... ", but "a key factor in... " would work for me. :)

    But it does depend on whether you regard it as the only key or not.
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