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"on the screens" or "on screens" which one is correct in the following sentences? Why do the following sentences use "on (large) screens" instead of "on the (large) screens"? Is "the" Definite Articles omitted? 1. A sentence from a reading test in English class Others were watching the performance on large screens. 2. Example from a dictionary Write the letter on the computer, then you can make changes easily on screen. ---------------- I found the Zero Article rule "We don’t use an article if we’re talking about things in general" don't apply in the two sentences above. Feel sorry for can't find more clues. Any kind explanation would be appreciated.
Oct 23, 2018 7:49 PM
Answers · 18
No "the" in "on large screens" because we are thinking about "large screens" in general, not a specific set of them e.g. the large screens that had been distributed earlier. "on screen" is an adverbial phrase that modifies "make changes". It gives detail about where and how to make changes. It is similar to "in writing", or "by email". Nouns are singular and without articles in such phrases.
October 23, 2018
Tests often focus on knowledge of rules, rather than knowledge of language. This is a shame: the rules of English don't tell the whole story. One day, when your exams are over, you will be free to learn the whole story. I think you have done well to find the 'zero article' rule as an explanation for the 'correct' answer; Michael agrees. In truth, you are right to be puzzled: there are contexts where both variants, with and without 'the', are acceptable, sometimes one is better, sometimes the other: only the context tells us which. Exams rarely give context, you have to use your knowledge of examiner psychology to figure it out. If the exam always has a Zero Article question, you have to learn how to recognise it, and give the examiner what he wants.
October 23, 2018
If something you are gonna talk about is already mentioned,you can use "the". If it is not the case,you need to use "a" or "an"
October 24, 2018
The flaw in my English usage is where I can be better, only if when I know 1. Thanks for your reply again, and your suggestion. I thought I'm trying to follow your instruction to use English correctly, and try to solve the problem I faced (e.g.check the rules ), before raising my question. 2. My original thought in grammar is like what you reply. But the reason I tend to use "the" in this article is by logical thinking, by inference, if there is no other grammar rule here. (1)According to the context, a person went to a concert at a Park, and saw the crowd all on site. "Others were watching the performance on large screens." Here "Others" should still mean people who were present at the concert. So It's more reasonable for me to think "the large screens" is meant that had been placed there, or at least it should be limited screens on site. The point is If I'm the person at the concert, the screen I see must be on site. Otherwise, not in this case, If "others" mean people are not present, "big screen" could mean "TV or youtube screen..." So the above is the reason I think it should use "the"=> "on the large screens" If there is anything wrong, please correct me. It will be appreciated.
October 24, 2018
As Jimmy suggested, the difference is quite subtle, and typically, as he suggested, you have to absorb how to use the language correctly, rather than learn rules. In this case, since which screens have not been explicitly defined, then they are general, and therefore you don't use 'the'. Conversely, 'on the large screens that had been placed around the square'. Here, they are explicitly defined...
October 24, 2018
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liveoutmyway
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Other), Chinese (Taiwanese), English
Learning Language
English