such as <a><the> size of the middle class

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Senior Member
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Markov chain - Wikipedia

Sample sentence:

In current research, it is common to use a Markov chain to model how once a country reaches a specific level of economic development, the configuration of structural factors, such as <a><the> size of the middle class, the ratio of urban to rural residence, the rate of political mobilization, etc., will generate a higher probability of transitioning from authoritarian to democratic regime.


Neither "a" nor "the" is used in the original. I wonder if it would be correct to include either one or the other.

Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I cannot see how "a" can fit, since you already have "the middle class", which can only have one size.

    The writer is clearly using "size" as an uncountable noun, in which case "the" is not required, but I find it odd when he uses the" with "rate" which I would have thought could also work as an uncountable noun here. Personally, I would use "the" for all three examples (size, ratio and rate)
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