Definite Article With the Word “Evidence”

Alexander2

Senior Member
Russian
Should the word “evidence” be used with or without the definite article in the statement below?

“I have been doing research on the subject of the global warming and began seeing the evidence indicating that it is happening.”

“I have been doing research on the subject of the global warming and began seeing evidence indicating that it is happening.”
 
  • Le Gallois bilingue

    Senior Member
    English (U.K.)
    They mean different things. With the definite article, in your sentence, it implies that you, in the course of your research, have come across the already known evidence of global warming. However, without the article the implication is that in the course of your research you have amassed evidence that is pointing to global warming.
     

    Alexander2

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you. I can see that the second statement can be understood as referring to evidence which has been discovered for the first time, whereas the first statement, to evidence which has already been discovered by someone earlier and has been in existence for some time. I was not aware that a single article can change the meaning of such statement.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    AE (US English)
    "The evidence indicating that..." means "the entire set of evidence that indicates that..."
    "Evidence indicating that..." means "some amount of evidence that..."

    Should the word “evidence” be used with or without the definite article in the statement below?

    “I have been doing research on the subject of the global warming and began seeing the evidence indicating that it is happening.”

    “I have been doing research on the subject of the global warming and began seeing evidence indicating that it is happening.”
    Did you begin learning "the entire set of evidence", by beginning to read books that list all such evidence?

    Or did you begin seeing (in your research) individual facts that implied to you that "global warming" is happening?
     

    Alexander2

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Did you begin learning "the entire set of evidence", by beginning to read books that list all such evidence?

    Or did you begin seeing (in your research) individual facts that implied to you that "global warming" is happening?
    The second options fits better, because not all evidence was involved. So the definite article may have to be omitted.
     
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