nature--can it take 'the'

< Previous | Next >
Two passages from proposed draft sentences by a non-native speaker, not published:

[A woman is traveling in a car with her boyfriend, a long ride from city Y to city X.][Two descriptions
of the same period of time, at different points in the narrative.]

[A] It was the last enjoyable day we’d had together and something that was deeply engraved in my memory. There was that impression of the spring rain, the clouds and the sunlight exchanging at sunset, the city and the nature passing by, the weird feeling of seclusion as if we had been inside a dream, and all of that was more memorable than any reason we may have had for going to X.

We headed back to Y. As if no argument had happened. I don’t remember we spoke about anything special in the car. The early evening was falling, and I was watching the landscape, the gorgeous nature that changed thrice in the span of a hundred kilometers, and I knew it was the last day of the world.

I'm not happy with 'the' in the first case. I think it should be deleted. BUT, I have some doubts about the second [i.e. about requiring deletion of 'the'], since a portion of nature is specified (that changed thrice).

Compare: Water is a vital resource. The water under the earth is being depleted rapidly.
  • joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Well, I like the way the phrases with "the" follow each other in a rhythm. I think it would sound worse without the article:
    the city and nature passing by..... :cross:
    although, normally, I agree, we don't say "the nature."

    The second one I would definitely keep.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm with joan. And as to the question in your title: nature--can it take 'the', my answer is "yes, of course it can":)


    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    In the passage, "nature" seems to mean "the landscape", "the scenery". It's the scenery that one could see through the car window. It is a rather unusual way to say it.


    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Question: aside from alternatives, what is the vote on removing 'the' in both passages. or more
    precisely, will leaving 'the' make it look too odd or incorrect?
    I think it will make both passages look even odder if you remove the "the".
    < Previous | Next >