The blah blah thing

😦 Agricultural sector is different from economic sector in the way research is conducted.

In the noun phrases agricultural sector and economic sector, you mention specific sectors – agricultural and economic. It is obvious that you are not talking about the bananas sector and the pornography sector.

If you mention a noun and both you and your reader know exactly which noun you’re talking about, then you must use the definite article ‘the’:

🙂 The agricultural sector is different from the economic sector in the way research is conducted.

Admittedly, identifying the main noun in a noun phrase becomes challenging with longer phrases. For example, can you identify the main noun in the following highlighted phrase? Answers in the comments section below! 🙂

I sometimes experience difficulties with the less obvious and more subtly nuanced aspects of article use in unnecessarily complicated academic writing.

Have fun with ‘the’. See you in the comments section.

#eapguru

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4 comments

  1. Afi

    I sometimes experience difficulties with “the less obvious and more subtly nuanced aspects of article” use in unnecessarily complicated academic writing.

    Like

    • PG

      Hi Afi! Actually the main noun is one word only! I deliberately made a complicated example with lots of pre and post modification, just to show how difficult it can be to identify the main noun. (By the way are you OK? Someone told me you’ve been unwell!)

      Like

    • PG

      Wah.. Almost! Actually ‘article’ is modifying the main noun, telling us what kind of noun it is. Next guess and you should have it 😉

      Like

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