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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > THE OR NO ARTICLES????    

THE OR NO ARTICLES????



vuthanhtam
Vietnam

THE OR NO ARTICLES????
 
I have this sentence: 
..............coffee without milk is yours

In this blank, should we use THE or No article? In my opinion, No article is suitable. However in theory, if the noun has post-modifier, the noun is definite. So, i īm just wondering........Could you explain me,plz?
Thanks in advance

5 Mar 2013      



Jayho
Australia

We are talking about a specific countable item, "your coffee" (your cup of coffee) so it needs a definite article beforehand
 
The coffee without milk is yours = correct
 
If you left off the article it wouldnīt sound right unless the speaker was using informal language, e.g. you are at the cafe and the waitperson puts two coffees on the table and says "(the) coffee without milk is yours and (the) coffee with milk is yours " as they put them in front of you
 
 
Cheers
 
Jayho

5 Mar 2013     



vuthanhtam
Vietnam

Thanks you very much,Jayho ^^

5 Mar 2013     



yanogator
United States

Jayhoo is exactly right, but I need to add something about your statement about a noun with a post-modifier. It isn īt always definite.
 
A person could say "Coffee without milk is delicious", in which case it is definitely not definite.
 
Ah, English, so many rules and so many exceptions!
 
Bruuuuuce

5 Mar 2013     



Jayho
Australia

But Bruuuuuuce
 
(sorry, but your grammar knowledge is better than mine so I īd like to raise this q)
 
In your sentence coffee is uncountable so wouldn īt that then be the reason for no article/derterminer?
 
so:
 
Coffee without milk is delicious = general statement
 
(my/this) coffee without milk is delicious = a specific coffee ?
 
Just wondering about this while on my coffee break :-)
 
Cheers
 
Jayhoo

5 Mar 2013     



yanogator
United States

OK, Jaydiho, I īll agree with that. My point was just that having a post-modifier doesn īt make everything definite. My broader point was that the "rules" that our colleagues learn are not written in stone (as Alex likes to point out, much to my edification).
 
Brucioso

5 Mar 2013     



abitano
Argentina

Jayho, let me add here (or ask): a noun being uncountable is no reason for dropping the definite article, or is it? You say "the coffee in my cup is too sweet" and it īs still uncountable. 
You īre making me feel like a cup right now!

Laura

5 Mar 2013     



Jayho
Australia

Hi abitanio
 
I īll leave that for Bruciososo to answer as I īm now on my lunchio breako and I īm all grammared out. 
 
Cheerio
 
Jaydioho
 
 

5 Mar 2013     



Jayho
Australia

Hi abitano
 
I see that Bruce hasnīt been back so Iīll post my answer to your question but he might be able to provide a more detailed answer.
 
Sometimes the definite article is used with uncount nouns, for example when a prepositional phrase is used to modify the noun. In your example we are talking about something specific, the coffee in that particular cup, your cup. It is not just about coffee in general but about your cup of coffee (which I hope you enjoyed).  "The coffee in my cup is too sweet" needs a definite article beforehand.
 
There are few internet references on post modifiers/articles but this one kind of covers it in a general way.  For me, being a NS, I know what is right but then I have to find the reason which is often a challenge.  Hopefully my reason here is on the right track and that Bruce will correct me if Iīm not.
 
Cheers
 
Jayho
 
 
 

6 Mar 2013     



abitano
Argentina

Hi Jayho!
Thatīs all clear enough, I totally agree and I know that when referring to specific things we use the definite article. I was just saying that the "uncountableness" is not in itself a reason for droppping the definite article (definito articloso). The specificity also works with countables for that matter..."The oranges I bought yesterday are delicious" "I love oranges". I hope I īve made myself understood. BTW, thanks for the link -useful and quite clear  to be used with students!!!

 Anyway, I still haven īt had THAT cup I was craving for but, instead, I īm writing over a delicious  Argentine "mate" (pronounced something around /mah te/  

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mate_(beverage)

Have a nice day!!!

6 Mar 2013