indefinite article use

Joe_Learn

Senior Member
Arabic
Should this sentence be with or without the indefinite article? Or is it optional, maybe?

I am on (a) diet.

I am pretty sure it's right with it, but is the sentence also correct without it?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would have to see the other contexts to tell you, but I can't think of one off hand that wouldn't require an article. You could make something up, of course – "I'm officially on Diet Day One" – but that's not the normal practice.
     

    Joe_Learn

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    I would have to see the other contexts to tell you, but I can't think of one off hand that wouldn't require an article. You could make something up, of course – "I'm officially on Diet Day One" – but that's not the normal practice.
    Yes, I just saw this example: Go see a nutritionist to receive advice on diet.

    What is the difference between this sentence and the first one I posted?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    You are on a specific diet: I am on a (low-fat) diet. Your nutritionist is giving you information on the general concept of diet: what you should be eating and not eating, caloric intake, restriction of certain foods for medical reasons, etc. Even in that case, it would be fine to say "Go see a nutritionist to get advice on your diet." In fact, I would probably say that: your example seems like a headline or a directive – we often leave articles out of those.
     

    Joe_Learn

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    You are on a specific diet: I am on a (low-fat) diet.
    I see. So the "(low-fat)" or some other kind of diet is hidden here, because when including this I can see that "a" is required. Right?

    you should be eating and not eating, caloric intake, restriction of certain foods for medical reasons, etc
    Thanks for your clear explanation.

    Even in that case, it would be fine to say "Go see a nutritionist to get advice on your diet." In fact, I would probably say that: your example seems like a headline or a directive – we often leave articles out of those.
    Yes, I agree that even here it is better with a determiner.

    headline or a directive – we often leave articles out of those.
    So, it is ok leave out article in headlines or a directive in which they would be required in a sentence. Is that what you are saying, because I have always wondered about that?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I see. So the "(low-fat)" or some other kind of diet is hidden here, because when including this I can see that "a" is required. Right?
    Any diet that you're on, even an unnamed diet, needs an article ... or something, e.g. I'm on a diet. Is your diet working?
    So, it is ok leave out article in headlines or a directive in which they would be required in a sentence. Is that what you are saying, because I have always wondered about that?
    Yes, we do that all the time because of limited space, e.g. Fisherman lands tarpon. Madonna changes diet.
     

    Joe_Learn

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Any diet that you're on, even an unnamed diet, needs an article ... or something, e.g. I'm on a diet. Is your diet working?
    Yes, because it basically has to be some sort of diet that an individual is on and not the process of diet in which you explained in the second example I asked about that did not contain an article. Would that be correct?

    Yes, we do that all the time because of limited space, e.g. Fisherman lands tarpon. Madonna changes diet.
    Got it. Just curious, where would the article be included if 'Fisherman lands tarpon' was used in context? I know "her" would be used "diet" in your Madonna example, but I am not sure a bout the first one! :)
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    No article: The speaker discussed diet and exercise as the two ways to control weight and build strength.

    Fisherman lands tarpon.

    William Walleye caught a record-setting tarpon off the coast of Florida yesterday. After a quick weigh for the record books and a photo op, he released the fish to live another day.
     

    Joe_Learn

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    No article: The speaker discussed diet and exercise as the two ways to control weight and build strength.
    Yes, I can see that the article is not required here. So is also what I said generally correct about why the article in my previous post?

    (because it basically has to be some sort of diet that an individual is on and not the process of diet in which you explained in the second example I asked about that did not contain an article)

    Fisherman lands tarpon.
    William Walleye caught a record-setting tarpon off the coast of Florida yesterday. After a quick weigh for the record books and a photo op, he released the fish to live another day.

    Thanks. Is a name of a fish?

     
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