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Is it grammatically incorrect to drop articles?

  • #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,483 mr_fegelien


    I've noticed this with foreigners and my parents who are from Africa. They will usually drop "the" when talking about something and say "You can take LUAS" instead of "You can take the LUAS" or sometimes add it when not talking about a specific thing but something general "You need to study to go the university" as opposed to just university. AFAIK you can only say the university when referencing a specific one "the university of Cambridge".

    Is this wrong?


Comments



  • ‘Ungrammatical’. Not ‘grammatically incorrect’. Which would mean ‘grammatical, yet inaccurate in meaning or fact’.

    Carry on.




  • Totally off topic but it has been mentioned to me earlier today,look at the time of the first post and the time of the reply?




  • triona1 wrote: »
    Totally off topic but it has been mentioned to me earlier today,look at the time of the first post and the time of the reply?

    I can't think of a better way for a web forum to handle daylight savings.




  • triona1 wrote: »
    Totally off topic but it has been mentioned to me earlier today,look at the time of the first post and the time of the reply?

    I was a little previous...




  • Yes.


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  • Thought I'd lost it altogether!,sorry won't reply again




  • Is this wrong?
    Wrong, no. Potentially different to ordinary Irish usage, maybe. I think it's one of those nuanced things like the order that adjectives are put in - one says "The big brown cow." not "The brown big cow."

    English has an odd relationship with articles (the, a, etc.) compared to some other languages, e.g. in French, use of an article is all but universal - so much so, that some place names that came to English retained an article, e.g. until 20-30 years ago, Chad and Ukraine were known in English as The Chad and The Ukraine.

    Note that if the word "the" is missing in a sentence, we often don't see that it is missing. It it OK to not type "the" in text messages, Twitter posts, etc., but be careful that the meaning doesn't change.
    I've noticed this with foreigners and my parents who are from Africa. They will usually drop "the" when talking about something and say "You can take LUAS" instead of "You can take the LUAS"

    Luas (the Irish for 'speed') is an ordinary word, it isn't an acronym like DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit). The confusion arises from the Luas logo using a capitalised font (a font that looks like all capitals, except the actual capital letters are often a tiny bit bigger). Importantly, Luas is a proper noun (A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, organization, or thing. Proper nouns begin with a capital letter. Examples are 'Margaret', 'London', and 'the United Nations'. Compare common noun.). It can also be used as a collective noun (a noun that is singular in form but that refers to a group of people or things, e.g. people, family, team) or non-collective noun.

    493805.png

    "You can take LUAS" - this is referring to one unspecified tram or specific (but not necessarily identified) section of a Luas line.

    "You can take the LUAS" - this is referring to the specific (but not necessarily identified) section of a Luas line.

    "You can take a LUAS" - this is referring to a single (but unspecified) tram, not the overall Luas system.

    "You can take this LUAS" - this is referring to a single identifiable (in view or pointed out on one of the displays) tram, not the overall Luas system.

    "You can take any LUAS" - perfectly acceptable, but needs to be used very carefully, as it can only be used when referring to the termini, otherwise people might end up going in the wrong direction.

    "You need to study to go the university" as opposed to just university. AFAIK you can only say the university when referencing a specific one "the university of Cambridge".

    "You need to study to go to university" - this is referring to university as a general concept, not a specific university.

    "You need to study to go to the university" - this is referring to one specific university, e.g. Cambridge, to the exclusion of all others.




  • I've noticed it when talking to folks whose native tongue is either Polish or Russian - articles don't exist in these languages so presumably when they are translating in their heads it doesn't occur to them to use it automatically. "Where is the hotel?" translates to "Gdzie hotel?" or "Где отель?" It can come across as gruffness - which it isn't, just them applying their syntax to English.




  • Yakuza wrote: »
    I've noticed it when talking to folks whose native tongue is either Polish or Russian - articles don't exist in these languages so presumably when they are translating in their heads it doesn't occur to them to use it automatically. "Where is the hotel?" translates to "Gdzie hotel?" or "Где отель?" It can come across as gruffness - which it isn't, just them applying their syntax to English.

    This is it


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