Definite article when we talk about a group of objects

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manuela76

Member
Bulgarian
Hi guys,

I am wondering which of the following two sentences is correct:

Archives only contain the files that have been created by you.

Archives only contain files that have been created by you.

I am not sure if the is used when we talk about a group of objects.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    I think the clause following 'files' specifies or defines the files, hence the need for 'the'. So far as I know 'the' is used in such cases to specify, or to separate a smaller group from a larger group. But articles are a migraine for non-native speakers. Let's have a native's answer.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    On the subject of migraine, the passive is making my head hurt here, so let's try these variants.

    1. Archives only contain the files that you have created.
    2. Archives only contain files that you have created.
    Both of these are possible. There is a slight nuance - "the files that you have created" somehow sounds more definite or specific. The suggestion might be, for example, that the archives contain all the files that you have created. Or the intention might just be to emphasize that the archives do not include any other files.
     
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