English Grammar

Omission of the article

Omission of the article

Sometimes the article is not used where we naturally expect to find it in accordance with the rules. No change of meaning is observed in these cases.

The article is often omitted in newspaper headings, telegrams, in stage directions.

Gas Blast Kills Woman. (Dally Worker) Girl Gymnast Keeps Title. (Moscow News)

The article is often omitted with homogeneous members closely connected with each other and joined by the conjunction and. In most cases they go in pairs.

The breakfast was taken away, and that meal over, it was the general custom of uncle and niece to separate. (Ch. Bronte)[20]

Our analyses of theoretical and practical aspects of the English articles enabled to make the following conclusions:

1. Considering the process of the historical development of the English articles there appeared two concepts according to the first of which the article is the notional part of speech and according to the second it is one of the forms of Adjectives. Most scientists supported the first point of view in the 19th century, but at the same time there existed a theory that included the article into the class of Pronouns or into the class of Adjectives. In the 20th century the article was not considered to be a notional part of speech by a wide range of scientists. In our work we support the thought that the article is a notional part of speech as it posesses three characteristics (the lexico-grammatical meanings of ”(in)definiteness”; the right-hand combinability with nouns; the function of noun specifiers) which make us believe that the English article is a notional part of speech.

2. The syntactical role of the article consists in marking off a noun or a noun phrase as a part of the sentence.

3. The morphological value of the article lies in indicating the substantivization of other parts of speech, mainly adjectives or participles, also pronouns, adverbs, numerals.

4. The main functions of the indefinite article are: classifying, generic and numerical.

5. The two main functions of the definite article are specifying and generic.

6. The absence of any article, which is sometimes referred to as the zero article, is as meaningful as their actual use. It is regularly observed with countable nouns in the plural, with non-counts used in a general sense, with proper nouns.

7. The omission of an article differs from the absence of an article in that it is stylistically or traditionally determined.

article translation contextual

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