the/a job review site

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ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Recently, the job review site Glassdoor compiled a list of 15 different companies that don’t require job applicants to have college degrees. The list includes high-paying tech outlets like Apple, Google, and IBM, in addition to service-oriented companies like Costco, Starbucks, and Chipotle.

(This comes from techpreneurmag.com Google, Apple, IBM No Longer Require College Degrees for Employees from Techpreneur Magazine.)

I was taught to use "a/an" when I first talk about something, and "the" when I mention it again. For example, "I had an apple for lunch. The apple was nice." (I know fictional writing will often mention something for the first time with ""the", but I think this rule doesn't seem to apply this article which is not fictional writing.)

Since "job review site" is first mentioned in the article, I wonder why the write didn't say "a job review site".

Thanks in advance!
 
  • ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    1. UK-based market research company Euromonitor International has just released its Top 100 City Destinations 2018 report. (From cnn.com)
    Why is not the "The UK-based market research company Euromonitor International"? Isn't it a specific company called "Euromonitor International"?

    2. That’s the goal of XenoTherapeutics, a Boston-based biotech nonprofit.(From qz.com)
    Why is "a" used here instead of "the" or just "Boston-based biotech nonprofit"?

    I wonder which article (a, the or zero article) I should use to say about "a company name + its description". I'm really confused.

    Or it's just a personal preference and "the", "a" and zero article are all OK in these sentence?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Why is not the "The UK-based market research company Euromonitor International"? Isn't it a specific company called "Euromonitor International"?
    Yes, it is a specific company, but in this case you don't need an article because "UK-based market research company" is an adjective phrase that modifies "Euromonitor International", which is a name.
    They could have used the definite article; it would not have been wrong, but it might then have been better to enclose the company name in commas. Compare:
    US president Donald Trump wants to build a wall.
    The US president, Donald Trump, wants to build a wall.

    Why is "a" used here instead of "the" or just "Boston-based biotech nonprofit"?
    Because this is an explanatory apposition. It explains what XenoTherapeutics is, namely a Boston-based biotech nonprofit. Presumably it is not, or at least not necessarily, the only Boston-based biotech company.
    This style could easily have been used in your other example:
    Euromonitor International, a UK-based market research company, has just released...
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "The" is used when you want to refer to a specific thing or things. In the "an apple"/"the apple" scenario, there is nothing special about the apple the first time you mention it; it only becomes specific when you mention it a second time, to make it clear it is the same apple that you were referring to earlier. Consider two pairs of sentences, the first sentence is the same in each case:
    Peter took an apple from the bowl, took a bite out of it, then put it back in the bowl.​
    Suppose this was followed by:
    Brian took the apple from the bowl and ate it.​
    It is clear that Brian took the same apple that Peter took earlier. However, if the second sentence was:
    Brian took an apple from the bowl and ate it.​
    then the natural inference would be that Brian took a different apple from Peter.

    In your original quote, a specific job review site is meant (and named), so the definite article is appropriate.

    The difference between "the job review site Glassdoor" and "UK-based market research company Euromonitor International" is which term the writer chose to be the head noun. In the first example, it is "site", a countable noun which therefore requires an article. The writer then appended the site's name (which they could have placed in parentheses or between dashes or commas). In the second example, "Euromonitor International" is the head noun, a proper noun so there is no article, and "UK-based market research company" is used attributively. With this construction, "Euromonitor International" cannot be put in parentheses or placed between dashes or commas.

    In your final example, "XenoTherapeutics, a Boston-based biotech nonprofit", the company name and its description are separate, and each has to obey its own rules. "XenoTherapeutics" is a proper noun so it does not have an article. The head noun of "a Boston-based biotech nonprofit" is "nonprofit" (which really means "nonprofit organisation"), a countable noun, so it needs an article. The writer could have used "the", and this would be appropriate if readers were expected to be familiar with this particular nonprofit organisation, but it is more natural to use the indefinite article to say that XenoTherapeutics is one of a number Boston-based biotech nonprofit organisations.

    Cross-posted with Edinburgher, with whom I agree,
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The difference between "the job review site Glassdoor" and "UK-based market research company Euromonitor International" is which term the writer chose to be the head noun.
    So if I were the writer, I could choose to write "job review site Glassdoor" and "the UK-based market research company Euromonitor International", right?

    In addition, I found the following sentences and I think they all have the same construction as "UK-based market research company Euromonitor International". Am I correct?

    1. Preliminary data from analytics firm RetailNext showed...
    2. Data from retail research firm ShopperTrak also showed that...

    --- From businesstimes.com.sg

    3. China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has unveiled...
    --- From chinadaily.com.cn
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    So if I were the writer, I could choose to write "job review site Glassdoor" and "the UK-based market research company Euromonitor International", right?
    Correct. It depends whether you think the name of the company is more important (don't use "the"), or what the company does (use "the").
    In addition, I found the following sentences and I think they all have the same construction as "UK-based market research company Euromonitor International". Am I correct?
    Yes.
     
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