Some case of usage of THE

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Prower

Banned
Russian
There is not a clear indicator regarding the usage of the in the following examples.

I like working with people.
I like working with people who are lively.
I like the people I work with.


How one can understand that there is no need in putting the in the second example? Don't we mean only those who are lively?
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Prower, would it help if you translated sentence 2 to "I like working with lively people"? (That's what it means, of course;).)
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I think it doesn't need "the" because it is a very general statement.

    If you said "The people where I work are lively. I like working with people who are lively." you woulnd't use "the."

    But if you said "Some of the people where I work are lively and some are not lively. I like working with the people who are lively." you would use "the."
     

    Prower

    Banned
    Russian
    I think it doesn't need "the" because it is a very general statement.
    Things can be clearly understood when compared. This is why if we compare

    I like working with people.

    and

    I like working with people who are lively.

    The second one is not as general as the first. So there must be differnet degrees of generalisation. This is interesting to see that you, being a fluent speaker of english, instantly considered it a general statement. But I, being not fluent, don't think that it is more general than the first one.

    Is there any diagram which could indicate the intensification of the generalisation?
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I don't see this as having any difference in degree of generalization because in neither case are you referring to identifiable individuals who could even possibly be named. Just adding an adjective doesn't make something less generalized.
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Things can be clearly understood when compared. This is why if we compare

    I like working with people.

    and

    I like working with people who are lively.

    The second one is not as general as the first. So there must be differnet degrees of generalisation. This is interesting to see that you, being a fluent speaker of english, instantly considered it a general statement. But I, being not fluent, don't think that it is more general than the first one.

    Is there any diagram which could indicate the intensification of the generalisation?
    It is a general statement. You should not use the artice unless you are referring to an already defined group of people.

    Or maybe let's try to simplify the second sentence:

    I like people who are lively.


    You wouldn't say "the people", would you?
     

    Prower

    Banned
    Russian
    I don't see this as having any difference in degree of generalization because in neither case are you referring to identifiable individuals who could even possibly be named. Just adding an adjective doesn't make something less generalized.
    We can call them - "the lively")))))
     
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