have a / the right to do something

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Hi everyone
What article shall we use in the phrase 'have a/the right to do something'? E.g., in these sentences:
The company has a / the right to make transactions.
The legal entity has a / the right to open accounts and perform any other activities.
What's the rule here? (If there is one.)

  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The difference between 'the right to do something' and 'a right to do something' is partly that between general and particular and partly a question of viewpoint.

    'A right' to act is a specific right, which may for example follow from a provision in a contract. Thus questions about whether 'a right' to do something exists are questions about the terms and meaning of that contract.

    'The right' to act is a concept which is understood more in terms of the person. Speaking generally, this term is used when we ask 'Do I have (or 'does he have') the right to do this?' It addresses the individual's capacity. If a contract grants a right to do something, it follows that the individual person or company concerned has the right to do it.
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