(the) entertaining/lightweight stuff

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
A.
-- What music do you like to listen to?
-- I like entertaining/lightweight stuff, like, pop-music.
________
-- What kind of movies do you like to watch?
-- I like entertaining/lightweight stuff, like, comedies, horrors.
___________________________________________________________________________________
B.
-- Why do you listen to this silly band? Why wouldn't you consider something more serious and deep?
-- I like the entertaining/lightweight stuff, like, pop-music.
________
-- Why do you watch these stupid movies? Why wouldn't you consider something more serious and deep?
-- I like the entertaining/lightweight stuff, like, comedies, horrors.

(SELF-MADE)

I think that in B, the (orange) definite articles sound natural, but they would sound less natural in A (with "entertaining/lightweight stuff"). Do you agree?:)
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I like [generic/easy to listen to/no concentration required] entertaining lightweight stuff.

    I think an adjective is "understood". It sounds fine to me without the definite article.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I like [generic/easy to listen to/no concentration required] entertaining lightweight stuff.

    I think an adjective is "understood". It sounds fine to me without the definite article.
    My point was that in A I just say what I like in a general sense, while in B I contrast one kind of stuff (seriuos/intellectual music/films) with another kind (entertaining/lightweight music/films). I.e., in B, I define two groups/categories. Doesn't it justify the use of the articles?...
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    My point was that in A I just say what I like in a general sense, while in B I contrast one kind of stuff (seriuos/intellectual music/films) with another kind (entertaining/lightweight music/films). I.e., in B, I define two groups/categories. Doesn't it justify the use of the articles?...
    I read "mindless fiction" for relaxation.

    I like to read mindless fiction that does not tax my brain. (I would not use an article here either.)
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I read "mindless fiction" for relaxation.

    I like to read mindless fiction that does not tax my brain. (I would not use an article here either.)
    I wouldn't either:)
    But it's more like A, different from my "B", I believe... I don't just think of entertaining/lightweight stuff, I think of it as a group.

    Like, when Peter, in Ghostbusters II, talked to a painting of an evil spirit while taking photos of him, provoking him:
    -- I bet the girls like you, huh? Do the girls? Do the guys? Bet they both do, huh? What about the animals? They like you? That's it, more!
    Coudn't it be a similar case?...
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think you can use the definite article and I would in formal writing, but colloquially it sounds fine to me without the article.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    My point was that in A I just say what I like in a general sense, while in B I contrast one kind of stuff (seriuos/intellectual music/films) with another kind (entertaining/lightweight music/films). I.e., in B, I define two groups/categories. Doesn't it justify the use of the articles?...
    It could but it's not needed and in this contex it doesn't really change the meaning.

    Perhaps this will help with understanding how "precisely" we use articles: If we assign an arbitrary value of 0 to "no article", a value of 5 to "a" and a value of 10 to "the" , then when you ask a question about articles, you might expect an answer of 0, 5 or 10. In actual fact we often tell you the answer is "3" or "7" or "anywhere between 4 and 9" etc.
     
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