we've had <the> talks / we've had <the> sessions with the counsellor


A mother is summoned to the school where her son goes. He'd brought a homemade arbalest to the school.
ADMINISTRATION: A dart could have gone into a child's eye or even worse.
MOTHER: I'm going to have a serious talk with him.
ADMINISTRATION: Mrs Fanning, we've had the talks. We've had the sessions with the counsellor. We're going to have to employ a monitor for him.
The Babadook, movie

I think the definite article here refer to some particular established stages:

1. the talks
2. the sessions with the counsellor

When those two are not helpful, there comes another "stage":

3. employing a monitor

That's why zero article would change the meaning of the OP. Am I right?
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It wouldn't actually change the meaning very much in this instance. But the following sentence would perhaps need to be connected to those statements with "Now we're going to have to…"


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, that's right. The admin person can say "the talks" and "the sessions" to the mother, because they both know exactly what this is all about. It's obviously not the first time they've had this discussion.
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