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Monday, April 30, 2012

Zero Article

Zero Article

Zero article refers to when a noun is NOT preceded by a, an or the (which are all three known as articles). This, however, is not a random omission. Like everything else in grammar, the zero article, or absence of one of the three articles before a noun, is governed by rules:

1) Use a zero article when the exact one or ones is not known.
     For example: People should understand how their government functions. (We do not know which people should understand. Which is not specified. If we did know, we might write, The people of France should understand how their government functions.)
     Lodeche's economy is in trouble. Monies are needed for the survival of the republic. (We do not know the exact monies, but we do know the exact republic.)

2) Use a zero article (no article at all) with proper nouns.
     For example: Sally Jane skips down Langston Street, turns the corner at Hughes Department Store, and spits into Calloway Creek. (Without proper nouns, we would use articles and the sentence would read, A girl skips down the street, turns the corner at the department store, and spits into the creek.)


Tomorrow: We breathe a sigh of relief and rest.

This post is brought to you by the April A to Z Blog Challenge. Check back all through April for daily discussions of writing conventions.

18 comments:

Grover said...

Yay we got all the way to z! I've really enjoyed your theme for the challenge - interesting and informative in one neat little bundle :)

Enjoy your rest!

Tara Tyler said...

never knew that had a term!

so nice to know you thru the challenge! will be great getting back to normalcy =)

Jo said...

I never knew that had a name either. Thanks Lucy. I have enjoyed your posts this month.

Personally I am sorry the challenge has ended. Its been great meeting everyone.

Patricia said...

Found your site when visiting "Jo", and just had to check the site out! Can't believe you have posts even in mind for next year, let alone FOUR years. Way to go, Girl! Will check back and read more later. A new follower.
Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

Donna K. Weaver said...

Nice choice. I've know about this one but not its name.

Congrats on finishing A to Z!

Catherine Stine said...

Gee, I teach lit and I never really knew that a, an or the were called articles. Thanks for the info!!!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

English is complicated. You've done a fabulous job of getting us from A to Z and improving our use of the language.

Wendy said...

The zero article seems to present problems for foreign speakers, not so much native. But if they're ever on Jeopardy, they'll know what it's called.

You've provided an important service with this AtoZ Challenge. I looked forward to it every day.

Dana said...

I've enjoyed your posts, which were always both interesting and informative. Congrats on finishing the A to Z!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Yes, tomorrow will be a nice day!


Elizabeth
A to Z co-host

Jocelyn Rish said...

Count me in as another who didn't know there was an actual term for this. And yes, definite relief and rest for tomorrow!

Congrats on completing the A to Z challenge!
Jocelyn

Janna said...

So glad I came across your blog; I'm sure I will reference these posts again in the future.

I had a lot of fun, but I'm glad it's over. Congrats on finishing.

Joy Ciaffoni said...

Thank you for all your helpful tips! Enjoy the free day tomorrow.

Kimberly said...

This is new info for me. :)

Congrats on finishing the A to Z!

Briane P said...

I like when people reverse it and an article in front of regular old common nouns. "Then we had the dinner." Makes regular life seem special.

And I once proposed that ALL bands should have "The" put in front of their name, so that we could stop wondering whether it's "Rolling Stones" or "The Rolling Stones." Under my rule, it would be "The The Rolling Stones" and "The Duran Duran", those being two rock bands.

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never heard of a zero article before. Thanks for the post!

Congratulations on reaching the end of the A-Z Challenge.

William Kendall said...

Congratulations on making it to the finish!

I've heard of the context here, but never of the term zero article itself.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lucy .. you've done a brilliant job - well done .. and I too didn't know of the term 'zero article' - excellent Z for finishing off ..

Great series .. thanks - Hilary

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