add (the?)onion and (the??)carrot in the pot

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sinkya

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello. Do I need articles in the sentence below?

I am telling my friend how to cook a vegetable soup.

"Then, add (the?)onion and (the?)carrot in the pot."

Thank you.
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you just said "Then, add onion and carrot to the pot", the reader would wonder: "How much onion and how much carrot?"
    "The onion" and "the carrot" are specific. They are appropriate where these two vegetables have already been mentioned in the instructions. As celinurrr says, you are referring to aforementioned carrots and onions.
     

    sinkya

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    It doesn't matter too much, but technically yes.
    Thank you, celinurrr. When you say it doesn't matter too much, do you mean that a native speaker might say both with or without "the" in this sentence?

    If you just said "Then, add onion and carrot to the pot", the reader would wonder: "How much onion and how much carrot?"
    Thank you, sound shift. I was thinking of a situation where I am telling my friend how to make a dish, so it is not an article or an email that you would read, but would it affect your answer? (I think some sentences are more likely to be found written than spoken.)

    Also, if there are more than two vegetables, would you use "the" for all of them, or would you omit them after using it for the first noun? (You might think "I'll just say 'the vegetables' to mention them all," but this question is to understand the basic rules or a way native speakers speak, so if you could ignore the bulkiness, I'd appreciate it.)

    e.g.: ""Then, add the onion, (the?) carrot, (the?) mushrooms, (the?) potatoes and (the?)carrot in the pot."

    Thank you.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you, sound shift. I was thinking of a situation where I am telling my friend how to make a dish, so it is not an article or an email that you would read, but would it affect your answer? (I think some sentences are more likely to be found written than spoken.)
    What I said is true for the written word and the spoken word. If you haven't previously mentioned onion or carrot and say, "Then, add onion and carrot to the pot", the listener will ask you about the quantities. If you have previously mentioned these vegetables, you make them definite by using the definite article: "The onion and the carrot" means "the onions and the carrots that I have been talking about".
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Note that, although you write onion and carrot in the singular, there may indeed be more than one of each. This is because (I guess) you'll have told your friend how many to buy, and to chop them first. So now you're talking about vegetable substances, not individual objects.
     
    'Add the onion and carrot to the pot'.

    This instruction is one step in the method of the preparation of a dish; the ingredients will already have been specified in the first part of the recipe.

    Presumably, one of each will have been mentioned, otherwise you would say 'Add the onions and carrots to the pot'.
     

    sinkya

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    'Add the onion and carrot to the pot'.

    This instruction is one step in the method of the preparation of a dish; the ingredients will already have been specified in the first part of the recipe.

    Presumably, one of each will have been mentioned, otherwise you would say 'Add the onions and carrots to the pot'.
    Thank you everyone!

    Thank you Rover_KE. Sorry, I want to make sure I understood what you meant.
    You mean, if the number of vegetables are already mentioned in the beginning, I only need to say "the onion and the carrot" whether one each is used or three each are used...am I right?

    It's a vegetable soup so the vegetables are cut into small pieces.

    I have two more questions. If you could kindly answer them, I'd really appreciate it.

    1. What should I say if only half a carrot and half an onion was to be used for the dish? Let's say I've already told my friend about that. Can I still say "Then, add the onion and the carrot in the pot." ?

    2. Can I treat the vegetables as uncountable since they are pieces, and say "Then, add the onion and the carrot in the pot." or if I don't say them in the plural, does it always mean that the pieces are from one carrot and one onion?

    Also, if you could answer my previous question, I'd really appreciate it too.

    <<Also, if there are more than two vegetables, would you use "the" for all of them, or would you omit them after using it for the first noun? (You might think "I'll just say 'the vegetables' to mention them all," but this question is to understand the basic rules or a way native speakers speak, so if you could ignore the bulkiness, I'd appreciate it.)

    e.g.: ""Then, add the onion, (the?) carrot, (the?) mushrooms, (the?) potatoes and (the?)carrot in the pot.">>

    Thank you in advance.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    You could say "Add the onion and the carrot in:cross: to:tick: the pot" in two circumstances:

    1. If you have already stated that there is one onion and one carrot, OR
    2. If you have already told your friend to chop the vegetables.
     

    sinkya

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    You could say "Add the onion and the carrot in:cross: to:tick: the pot" in two circumstances:

    1. If you have already stated that there is one onion and one carrot, OR
    2. If you have already told your friend to chop the vegetables.
    Thank you, Keith!

    Can I say "Add the vegetables to the pot" in both 1, 2, and when there are more than one each of them?

    Thank you.
     

    sinkya

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, RM1(SS)!

    Also, if you or any native speaker could answer my previous question, I'd really appreciate it too.

    Thank you in advance.

    Also, if there are more than two vegetables, would you use "the" for all of them, or would you omit them after using it for the first noun? (You might think "I'll just say 'the vegetables' to mention them all," but this question is to understand the basic rules or a way native speakers speak, so if you could ignore the bulkiness, I'd appreciate it.)

    e.g.: ""Then, add the onion, (the?) carrot, (the?) mushrooms, (the?) potatoes and (the?)carrot in the pot."

    Thank you.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Only the first the is necessary. However, if you're going to omit the others, you must omit all of them. "Then add the onion, carrot, mushrooms, potatoes and carrot to the pot."
     
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