(the) wind

< Previous | Next >

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
THE or ZERO ARTICLE exercise here: Tomson, Martinet. EXERCISES.

She lives on the top floor of an old house. When the wind blows, all the windows rattle.

Could you tell me why the definite article is necessary with 'wind' here. Is it about a particular wind, the one at that place?
Thank you.
 
  • Fern_

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I think it's a parallel to e.g. The sun is lovely today. The rain is coming down quite hard. The wind nearly took my hat off. The snow was really heavy so I had to put chains on.
    "The sun" is the only one that logically has a particular reference, but we aren't really thinking about that ball of gas when we say 'the sun is lovely today', just that there is lovely sunshine.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    The sun is lovely today. The rain is coming down quite hard. The wind nearly took my hat off. The snow was really heavy so I had to put chains on.
    In all these examples, there're particular sun/rain/wind/snow. But in the OP it feels different to me. "When (?) wind blows" talks about numerous occasions of wind, not about one particular wind. Am I mistaken?...
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Am I mistaken?...
    I'm afraid so, yes. You could say the same about the sunshine, the rain, and the snow - that they refer to "numerous occasions", but we still use the article. The wind is just as idiomatically "particular" as these. It's the wind that blows and rattles her windows.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    We often speak about the wind as if it were one thing.
    The wind is blowing from the north today, but the wind was blowing from the south yesterday.
    There is a north wind today, but there was a south wind yesterday.
    Both mean the same.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    We often speak about the wind as if it were one thing.
    The wind is blowing from the north today, but the wind was blowing from the south yesterday.
    There is a north wind today, but there was a south wind yesterday.
    Both mean the same.
    Thank you!
     

    Fern_

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Yes,that's it. It's not particular in the sense that we are talking about this wind or that wind, but just 'the wind'. It's a thing that sometimes is there, or and other times is not there. Like the sun or the rain.
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Don't overthink it, Vic. It's an element - the wind - in your context and there's "only one".
    The definite article "the" can perform certain functions that cannot be fully explained by basic rules of article usage. These functions are described here.
    Unique, only one
    If there is only one thing like that in existence (universally or locally), the article "the" is used with such a noun. Examples:
    the atmosphere, the sky (...) The sun (...)
    (usefulenglish.ru)
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Don't overthink it, Vic. It's an element - the wind - in your context and there's "only one".
    The definite article "the" can perform certain functions that cannot be fully explained by basic rules of article usage. These functions are described here.
    Unique, only one
    If there is only one thing like that in existence (universally or locally), the article "the" is used with such a noun. Examples:
    the atmosphere, the sky (...) The sun (...) (usefulenglish.ru)
    But do you agree that "wind" somewhat differs from other nouns that fall under this category? You don't find "wind" on that list. E.g., you can talk about "winds" (plural):)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top