costs paid by <the> government [about "the"]

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Senior Member
Higher education can be funded by several ways such as the following: ① {1}All costs paid by {2}the government; ② All costs paid by {3}the students; ③ All costs paid by {4}the government loan which {5}students have to pay back after graduation. Please discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of all these three theories above and decide which the best is.

it is a writing topic from an IELTS test.

when using "the" completely confused me in the paragraph above.
The {2}"the government" here means either the general one or the specific one?
if it means the specific one, the {3} "the students" I can understand, but the {1}"all costs" I can not understand. It should be "all the costs", which means the specific fees on higher education, shouldn't it?
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The government is the regime in general, and more specifically the one in power at the moment.
    Government is the regime in general, what other languages call the State. (State in this meaning is quite rare in English.)

    "All costs" means the same as "all the costs".
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