Use of definite article "the" in front of uncountable noun

Depressed Alex

New Member
English
Hi everyone. Which of the following phrases is/are correct?

1. "Despite money being pumped into research of treatment of schizophrenia ..."
2. "Despite money being pumped into the research of the treatment of schizophrenia ..."
3. Any other variation that you may propose

This is the first time I am mentioning "research of treatment of schizophrenia" in my essay.

I personally think that both Number 1 and Number 2 are correct. The use of "the" in front of "research" and "treatment" should be optional. My reasoning for the "the" in front of "treatment" is that if we rephrase the phrase "treatment of schizophrenia" into "schizophrenia treatment" (both having the same meaning), the use of "the" in front of the phrase as in "research of the schizophrenia treatment" is weird. Is this valid? I'm not too sure about the rules of "the" for noun phrases, and whether it's any different from nouns.

For "the" in front of "research", my argument is this: Definite articles are optional in front of an uncountable noun. And if I rearrange the order in the phrase to "research of treatment of schizophrenia is being pumped money into" (I know that's grammatically bad, but I'm twisting it to illustrate my point), it is okay not to use "the" in front of "research".

I understand that we use "the" to refer to something specific or unique and something counted as a single body, such as in the phrase "the cat in my house" because there is only one cat, and you can refer to it specifically. My argument for this rule is that "research of treatment of schizophrenia" is a general term, in the sense that there is more than one research of treatment of schizophrenia in the world, so I am only referring to all the research as a general single form. I can use "the research of the treatment of schizophrenia" only when there is one "research of treatment of schizophrenia" in the world, thus I can refer to it specifically. This is similar to why "the cat in my house" is applicable only when there is one cat in my house. In conclusion, as there are more than one research on the treatment of schizophrenia, I need not add a "the" in front of "research of treatment of schizophrenia".

Which (or none) of these arguments make sense?

Thanks very much for reading this! :)
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    There is a saying, “If I were you, I would not have started from here.” :) Your example is faulty.

    "Despite money being pumped into research of treatment of schizophrenia ..." - research of treatment is not idiomatic.

    1. Research is into something
    2. You need the definite article before treatment; treatment of schizophrenia should be considered as a whole and is a specific treatment
    3. Research needs no article.

    Possibilities:

    "Despite money being pumped into research into the treatment of schizophrenia ..."
    Or
    "Despite money being pumped into researching the treatment of schizophrenia ..."
    Or
    "Despite research money being pumped into the treatment of schizophrenia ..."
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Hi, Alex, and welcome to the forum.

    I definitely agree with Paul that the sentence fragment you presented was structurally wrong to start with. In US English, the second of his three suggested possibilities is the one I would choose. (In his first, I don't care for the repetition of "into"; in his third, I think it appears that the money is going directly into treatment rather than into research.)

    P.S.: In future questions, it will be helpful if you give us a full sentence and also tell us your source.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Welcome to the forum, Alex. :)

    Please provide the ending of this sentence, if only in an abbreviated form. It will help us see how this construction will work with what follows.

    This looks like part of an academic paper; is it? The purpose of the writing will influence stylistic choices.

    I assume that this is something you have written. It's better to include that information, because we require that you name the source of any quoted material.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    There is a saying, “If I were you, I would not have started from here.” :) Your example is faulty.

    "Despite money being pumped into research of treatment of schizophrenia ..." - research of treatment is not idiomatic.

    1. Research is into something
    2. You need the definite article before treatment; treatment of schizophrenia should be considered as a whole and is a specific treatment
    3. Research needs no article.

    Possibilities:

    "Despite money being pumped into research into the treatment of schizophrenia ..."
    Or
    "Despite money being pumped into researching the treatment of schizophrenia ..."
    Or
    "Despite research money being pumped into the treatment of schizophrenia ..."

    In AE, research can also be on something, and I think it is better to use a definite article with the object of the preposition:
    research on the treatment of schizophrenia :tick:
    research on treatment of schizophrenia:confused:

    In AE, research can also be about a topic, but I don't think that's an appropriate preposition in this case:
    research about the treatment of schizophrenia:cross:?
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    I also just want to ask what the research is into/about. Is it about the treatment of schizophrenia? (That research would be, well, about how schizophrenia is treated.) Or is it research into possible treatments for schizophrenia / are people researching treatments for schizophrenia? (That research would aim to find treatments for schizophrenia.)

    Then, do you mean "despite money"? Or "despite the huge amount / relatively small amount of money"? Because "despite money" sounds like "even though money is being spent at all on this thing," but I would expect "even though tons of money / not very much money is being spent on this thing."

    Etc. etc. If you were my student I would just put a squiggly line underneath the sentence and write "awkward - rewrite." It doesn't seem like you're saying what you mean.

    PS: If you want to know my "correct answer," it would be "Despite the massive amount of research money being put towards / spent on the treatment of schizophrenia..."
     

    Depressed Alex

    New Member
    English
    Hi. I apologise for not giving the context of the phrase. The phrase comes from an essay (no, not an academic paper) that I wrote, which is on the question "There is nothing that money cannot buy. Discuss." So, the sentence is something like "Despite money being pumped into research of treatment of schizophrenia, schizophrenia remains an incurable disease." The argument here is that money cannot buy all treatments of health conditions, thus supporting the stand that while money can buy some things, it cannot buy all things.

    After seeing your comments and doing a check on online dictionaries, I understand and acknowledge that the appropriate expression should be "research into" (which I do not prefer because "money pumped into research into" does not sound nice) or "research on". I gather from your responses that "research" does not require any article, whereas "treatment of schizophrenia" requires one. However, I am still lost on why "research" does not need an article, whereas "treatment of schizophrenia" needs one? Is it because "research" is general, whereas "treatment of schizophrenia" is specific? But I wonder if we need to see the entire phrase containing the word "research", that is, "research into/on the treatment of schizophrenia". Isn't that specific as well? Why there isn't a need to include an article in front of the phrase since it is specific?

    lucas-sp: You asked very interesting and precise questions. My answers are: To you first question on what the research is on, I mean the research aims to find effective treatment of schizophrenia. This is plain obvious if you consider the whole sentence: "Despite money being pumped into research of (the) treatment of schizophrenia, schizophrenia remains an incurable disease." The latter clause implies that the research has something to do with treating schizophrenia and turning it into a curable disease, which when phrased in another way means effective treatment. However, I did not include the latter clause, and I apologise for that.

    To your second question on the amount of money being pumped into research on the treatment of schizophrenia, I agree that it is good to be precise in stating the amount of money. This is especially so when you are talking about the ability of money to buy things, such as treatment of health conditions. However, I am divided over whether it is really necessary to state the amount of money. Because when we say "money being pumped into research on the treatment of schizophrenia" in this particular essay, there is a subtle implication that the money is probably not something small. Otherwise, it would be equivalent to almost no money at all and that does not support your stand (in this essay, we need to give points that talk about how a sufficient and reasonable amount of money can or cannot buy things. Points that talk about almost no money is irrelevant in this essay). On the other hand, when you say "tons of money being pumped into ...", you are emphasising that even large amounts of money cannot buy treatments of health conditions, thus supporting your stand. However, I feel that such emphasis should be optional. The question is saying about how the amount of money affects your buying ability, thus it is not needed and should be optional. Again, this has all got to do with me not describing the context beforehand, and I apologise for this.

    Good day everyone :)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Is it because "research" is general, whereas "treatment of schizophrenia" is specific?
    Yes.
    But I wonder if we need to see the entire phrase containing the word "research", that is, "research into/on the treatment of schizophrenia". Isn't that specific as well?
    The whole thing becomes specific after the event but it is made up of research - non-specific and the treatment - specific, but the research remains non-specific.

    Compare.
    "The research at Crampton Laboratories shows gravity is an illusion." - this is specific research, it has or will become significant in the report.
    "Research at Crampton Laboratories shows gravity is an illusion." - this is simply 'some sort of' or any research, it is research in general terms.

    In BE, I don't think that research on works very well. It seems to be limited to use in e.g.
    "Research, on the topic/subject of schizophrena, has found that..."
    and is similar to
    "Research
    , in the area of the treatment of schizophrenia, has found that..."
     
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    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Hello.
    There's an expression "the silent treatment" which is always used with 'the', and the Longman dictionary says 'treatment' is uncountable here. Could you tell me why "the" used here?
    Thank you.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    "The silent treatment" is an idiomatic set phrase with the meaning of to deliberately ignore or refuse to talk to someone. It's thus a very specific form of 'treatment', and so it has the definite article "the".
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    "The silent treatment" is an idiomatic set phrase with the meaning of to deliberately ignore or refuse to talk to someone. It's thus a very specific form of 'treatment', and so it has the definite article "the".
    Do I correctly understand that the silent treatment is then more specific than other kinds of treatment, such as:
    Winners get star treatment from the media.
    We were given VIP treatment.
    Several people needed hospital treatment for burns.
    The driver needed emergency treatment.
    , ?
    (from dictionaries)
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Do I correctly understand that the silent treatment is then more specific than other kinds of treatment, such as:
    Winners get star treatment from the media.
    We were given VIP treatment.
    Several people needed hospital treatment for burns.
    The driver needed emergency treatment.
    , ?
    (from dictionaries)
    Yes. It's really very specific: almost in the nature of a uniquely different form of treatment and we just don't use the expression without the "the". To say it as: To give someone silent treatment wouldn't really make sense (or at the very least it would sound peculiar).
     

    Cupric

    Senior Member
    Turkey
    Could you please tell me when to add and when not to add "The" ?

    For example: " She wants water "
    <-----Additional sentence removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->

    How do I know if I should add the?
     
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