The unreal, the hypothetical, the speculative

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Jignesh77

Senior Member
India- hindi
In order to express the unreal, the hypothetical, the speculative, or imagined (all those being the same in this case), English has adopted an interesting habit of moving time one step backward. Two verbs are involved: one in the clause stating the condition (the "if" clause) and on
Please explain the use of "the" article before all the words mentioned in the subject
Thanks
 
  • Jignesh77

    Senior Member
    India- hindi
    Please explain the grammar or give some explanation or reference where I can learn more.
    Are all those grammatical terms singular countable nouns? I think those terms are noncount nouns?
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    There are no nouns in the 'subject' (thread title):)
    You have a construction the + adjective.
    "The remarkable" means "that which is remarkable". The same with other adjectives.
    It is similar to the form about people: "the poor" means "those who are poor".
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Yes. The definite article here gives the adjective the status of a noun.

    Clint Eastwood starred in a film called 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'.
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    I believe that the OP was asking about the terms, why do they take 'the' - am I right, Jignesh77?
    Original question was, why is it:
    the + unreal, hypothetical, speculative
    In post 2 it was thought that it is because it is the same terminology as
    the active voice, the present tense.

    There is a difference beween using 'the' in the construction 'the + adjective' and in the construction 'the + noun'. Context is needed for the second one, because I now searched the forum and saw examples of names of the tenses with zero / indefinite / definite article.
    :)
    I wonder whether I can use article the before the names of tenses or not: e.g, the Simple Present Tense, the Present Perfect Tense?
    My opinion is that without some context, e.g. a sentence of a reasonable length, we have no real way of knowing.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Yes, I am just interested to know why do we need "the" before grammar terminology?
    Because (i) the names of the tenses are singular, countable nouns, and all singular countable nouns require a determiner, e.g. "The, a/an, my, this, that, any, etc."
    (ii) The is usually the most appropriate.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
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