still at the/a/(-) record level

ortak

Senior Member
Turkish
To make matters worse, the number of small businesses going into liquidation is still at ____ record level, and the housing market is showing no signs of recovery.

Hi friends,
it is another article question. Here, I thought, the article better in use and a article is also can be appropriate. Answer key says a article and leaving the blank empty are both correct. Why can not we use the article here?
I think record level refers to a certain number. Doesn't it?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Forero

    Senior Member
    This sentence is correct with the or a or nothing in the blank. The choice depends somewhat on what you want to say, but there seems to be little difference here.

    With no reason to use the, I would leave it out of this sentence just to avoid too many thes attracting our focus.

    But the is fine, for example, if it means something like "this" or "that", referring to the level just mentioned. And there are other purposes a the might serve if you want to use it here.
     

    languagelearner123

    Member
    English-United States
    That's a good question. The phrase "record level" indicates that something is very high but it does not define exactly how high, thus you need to use the indefinite article "a." If you use "the" you would have to define what that level is such as "the record level of 3,000 houses a day or whatever number it is." I hope that helps.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    This is a good question, Ortak. I think that "a record level" is used instead of "the record level" because it refers to one of many levels. In the future the number of businesses going into liquidation may climb even higher. I suppose that in examples like yours it would be possible to use "the record level" in speaking or writing about the past as in "the record level reached in 1929" or something similar.
     

    ortak

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    But the is fine, for example, if it means something like "this" or "that", referring to the level just mentioned. And there are other purposes a the might serve if you want to use it here.
    What kind of purposes you mean? Can you explain more?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    For example, the record level might be referring to the previous maximum level as opposed to an ever higher maximum level.

    It is difficult to say how many interpretations the can have in this context, so I am not sure I understand why you feel/felt that the is the right choice for this sentence.

    If you say what your reasoning is, we natives can tell you if it is valid here.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top