help workers deal with [a/the] rapidly changing economy

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Roundhouse

Senior Member
Bengali
I wrote the following sentence:


After the recession, there was [a] strong consensus “that manpower training and placement should be given higher priority” to help workers deal with [a/the] rapidly changing economy, and to help them reintegrate into the labour market quickly

I am not sure if I should use the indefinite or definite article before "rapidly changing economy" (this is referring to the Canadian economy in the 1970s). Also, is "a" correctly used before "strong consensus" or should it be removed?
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    You are referring to a particular rapidly changing economy (after the recession), so "the" is correct, in exactly the same way that "the" is correct with "labour market".

    "A strong consensus" is correct.
     

    Roundhouse

    Senior Member
    Bengali
    A strong consensus" is correct.
    Hello Uncle Jack, thanks for the answer. I am wondering if it would still be valid to leave "a" out in "a strong consensus" in this specific sentence. After looking at Ngram, I noticed that "there is/was a strong consensus" is significantly more popular than the version without the "a". But that version without the "a" does have entries in google books.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello Uncle Jack, thanks for the answer. I am wondering if it would still be valid to leave "a" out in "a strong consensus" in this specific sentence. After looking at Ngram, I noticed that "there is/was a strong consensus" is significantly more popular than the version without the "a". But that version without the "a" does have entries in google books.
    "Consensus" can be either countable or uncountable. I don't think omitting "a" would be a grammatical error, since I think either form works here, but "a consensus" certainly sounds more natural to me.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "a strong consensus" is what I would say, too.

    I think the choice of "a" or "the" regarding the economy depends on the intended meaning of the sentence and the perceived duration of the "rapidly changing economy". Is it a reference limited to the specific economy in existence at the end of that specific recession, or is it referring to a longer term outlook that economists foresee for the economy going into the future?

    If they perceive that there will be a rapidly changing economy for decades into the future, then I would use "a". It would imply a new state of existence for the economy that needs new long term solutions, of which this current example is just one (and the first of many). If it's simply about this limited period of time I would use "the".
     
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