English Grammar

from famous perfumer or from the famous perfumer?

When must we put the article (definit or undefinit) and when can we neglect it?


  • This is a short answer made off the cuff. I hope someone will tell more about it. Or I'll do it later because I'm short of time by now.

    If you speak of famous perfumers in general you MAY NOT use the article THE.
    If a particular perfumer is at stake, you must use the article.

    The article is to be missed as you speak of an abstract notion, or of a subject in general.

    To some careerists life is power struggle. (generality)
    The struggle was fierce between the competitors. (particular case)
    Struggle between competitors is always fierce. (in general)
    The life of Gwendo is just like she wants it to be. (Her life is just her own.)
    God save the Queen. (the queen ruling at that moment, or the queen of a particular country)
    Love is desire to be desired. (desire in general)
    Love is the desire of being desired. (that desire among other possible desires)

    If I'm wrong with those examples, let me be corrected.
  • Some general rules a bit more detailed about the defined article "the":

    The defined article "the" points out a person, a place, an event, a thing that is clearly defined in the speaker's mind.
    I'll give you back the money. (the money you lent me yesterday)

    When is the defined article omitted?

    1 Before abstract nouns and nouns of things in general.
    Animals are living beings.

    2 Most often after verbs expressing opinions or preferencies.
    I like wine.
    My teacher puts me off maths.

    3 Before dates, months and days.
    On Sundays I bask in the sun.
    Today's date is June 12. (but I might say the twelfth June! or the twelfth of June! haha!)

    4 Before names of nountries, states, regions, cities.
    Germany is a large country.
    Mind some particular exceptions like The United States, The Bahamas, The Hague... and some others.

    5 Before nouns of professions and titles.
    Chancellor Angela Merkel. President Bush.
    When he feels under the weather, he sees Doctor Badguy.
  • I wonder why my GymGlish grammar workbook doesn't tell anything about that issue. I guess that is because it is merely a matter of practice. General rules are subject to so many exceptions.
  • Thanks a lot, Gee, for all your informations and reflections on that subject. The omission of the article in my past GG lessons made me start. And like you, I didn't find anything about it in my school grammars.
    Your examples under point number 5 (professions and titles) seem correspond most to my above mentioned text but they don't coincide totally, because president, chancellor, king and queen are very outstandig positions or offices, not comparable with perfumers (grammatically spoken).

    Have a nice weekend!
  • Other expressions without article were:

    "Delavigne releases first fragrance of summer."
    (That could be a shortened headline and therefore two times without articles).

    And: "Tigerlilly proposes to be most popular perfume of the summer."
    (here they are applying the article in front of summer, contrary to the firt sentence, but they are ommitting it in front of most!)

    What do you think about it? Have they slipped up and these are only careless mistakes?
  • That perfumer Delavigne releases Tigerlilly as to be the most popular perfume wouldn't surprise me, Gwendo.
    If Tigerlilly proves to be most popular perfume wouldn't surprise me either.
    Perfumer Delavigne isn't used to making mistakes in their ads.
  • Oh, I see, but somehow or other you talk in riddles.
    Perhaps Perfumer Delavigne isn't used to making mistakes but what about our Gymglish-lessons-editor or rather the Gymglish editorial staff?

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