(the) lift-off


-- Two weeks ago, a shuttle mission was scrubbed three seconds before lift-off when an auxiliary power unit valve malfunctioned.

-- Do you think there would be a problem with us watching lift-off from Mission Control?
-- Well, being that you'd probably go over my head anyway, please, be my guest.

The X-Files, TV series

The lift-off was delayed about seven minutes...
The rocket tumbled out of control shortly after lift-off.
Collins Cobuild

Explain please the logic of using/not using articles with "lift-off".
Thank you.
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Logic? Articles?:D
    It seems to be one of those words where it doesn't matter, like sunrise and sunset etc. Sunrise is at 7:27 a.m. (The) sunset was beautiful this evening. Sunset is always beautiful here etc. The specific instance and the general concept don't need to be distinguished in most cases with adequate context.
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