a/the trend for corporate legal staffs to do (...)

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
The move is consistent with a trend for corporate legal staffs to do more work in-house, instead of farming it out to law firms...
Collins Cobuild

The indefinite article implies this:
The move is consistent with a trend for corporate legal staffs (and this trend is) to do more work in-house, instead of farming it out to law firms.

Therefore, the definite article would work as well here:
The move is consistent with the trend for corporate legal staffs to do more work in-house, instead of farming it out to law firms.

Is this correct?
Thanks.
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    I don't understand your reasoning, but I can confirm that the definite article could be used because even though it's the first reference to a trend, the sentence defines clearly enough the trend in question to justify the definite article. Nevertheless I too would probably use "a" here : notwithstanding my preceding statement, the use of "the" somehow suggests that the reader ought to be aware of this trend already.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    the definite article could be used because even though it's the first reference to a trend, the sentence defines clearly enough the trend in question to justify the definite article.
    That's what I thought too:)
    For that reason, the logic for the indefinite article is not very clear to me. Could you explain it...
    I have two possible reasons:
    1. The "trend for corporate legal staffs to do more work in-house, instead of farming it out to law firms" was firstly mentioned, introduced.
    2. It's just one of trends. Any trend. That is, as I said: There is a trend and the trend is "to do more work in ......."
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It is customary, but not compulsory, to use the indefinite article the first time we are referring to one of a number of items (in this case trends - no doubt there are many others). Since this is the situation in this sentence, the writer uses the indefinite article, and I would do so too.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    the first time we are referring to one of a number of items (in this case trends
    Just to be sure I understand you correctly -- in this case, by "item" do you mean:
    1. trend for corporate legal staffs to do more work in-house, instead of farming it out to law firms
    or
    2. trend
     
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