Unit 10.2

Omission of Articles

Syntax

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Introduction

Articles are words that define nouns and they belong to the group of words called determiners.

Omission of articles are allowed in some cases.

Form

In some specific cases, articles can be omitted without affecting the structure of a sentence.

We omit articles before:

  1. Languages;
  2. Names/proper nouns;
  3. Meals;
  4. Pairs of nouns;
  5. Plural countable nouns;
  6. Possessives;
  7. Some prepositional phrases;
  8. Uncountable nouns.

We omit articles after:

  1. a kind of.

NOTE: The omission of articles is an ellipsis, so it does not follow a general formation rule.
{See EllipsisB1 level )

Example

Before

  1. English is easy.
    Spanish is a widely spoken language.
  2. Washington is the capital of America.
    Jenny is very friendly.
  3. I usually have toast for breakfast.
    They had fish and vegetables for lunch.
    What would you like for dinner?
  4. She invited them both, husband and wife.
    Mum and dad are coming to visit me for Christmas.
  5. Children are usually impatient.
    Mobile phones are very useful.
  6. His uncle teaches at university.
    His dog is 7 years old.
  7. He went to bed early.
    He left his laptop at home.
  8. Olive oil is good for your health.
    We often use flour when we bake.

After: “kind of”

  • What kind of person is he?
  • What kind of exercise is this?

Use

We use the omission of articles when in some cases we don’t affect the meaning of a sentence.

Summary

There are cases where we can omit the article without affecting the structure or meaning of the sentence:

  • Before uncountable nouns, plural countable nouns names/proper nouns, meals, languages, pairs of nouns, possessives, prepositional phrases;
  • After kind of.

For example:
Gold is valuable.” = Gold is uncountable, therefore we can omit the article.
“What kind of dog is he?” = After kind of we can omit the article.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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