a majority vs the majority.

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koper2

Senior Member
Polish
(a) There isn't the majority of MPs in favour of the bill.
(b) There isn't a majority of MPs in favour of the bill.

Is the any difference in meaning between (a) and (b) sentences?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The majority doesn’t make any obvious sense in that sentence, which presumably means “there is no majority” (there is not a majority; no majority exists).
     

    koper2

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The majority doesn’t make any obvious sense in that sentence, which presumably means “there is no majority” (there is not a majority; no majority exists).
    I see.

    I think that there is a context where (a) could be used thus making sense. For example, someone has argued that there is majority of 50 only to be told that the majority of 50 doesn't exist.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    There isn't the majority that you thought there was. Here 'the' is licensed by the following relative clause. Which majority? The one you thought there was. Without some such thing, 'there isn't' introduces a new thing, which must be indefinite 'a'.
     
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