the drinking

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Sasha Ivanov

Senior Member
Russian
My religious beliefs forbid the drinking of alcohol.
(from a dictionary)

Why not just "forbid drinking of alcohol"?
What's known or determined about it? Should I, then, say:
I love the drinking of alcohol. ?
My religion forbids the killing of babies. ?
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    1. My religious beliefs forbid the drinking of alcohol.:thumbsup:
    2. My religious beliefs forbid drinking of alcohol.:thumbsdown:
    3. My religious beliefs forbid drinking alcohol.:thumbsup:

    In sentence 3, my beliefs forbid doing something: "drinking alcohol" is doing something.

    In sentence 1, my beliefs forbid a thing, a noun: "the drinking of alcohol" is a noun. It can be used as a noun phrase in other sentences ("The drinking of alcohol is forbidden to muslims.")

    Should I, then, say: I love the drinking of alcohol. ?
    Do you love a thing (a noun), or do you love doing something? "I love drinking alcohol" is more common.

    What's known or determined about it?
    The use of "the" in English is more complicated than that. That is not the only situation.

    4. My religion forbids the killing of babies.:thumbsup:
     

    Sasha Ivanov

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Why for "My religion forbids suicide" there is no "the", then? They're both nouns, "suicide" and "drinking of alcohol".
    There's something previously known to the reader, like "the known practice in which people drink alcohol".
     
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