THE: When we “the” a plural or uncountable noun, we are talking about specific things or people.


- The books you ordered have arrived. (with plural noun)

- All the information you asked for is in this file of paper. (with uncountable noun)

ZERO ARTICLE: In generalization we use “zero article”, but not “the”, with plural or uncountable nouns.


- Before you put them on, always check your shoes of spiders.

- I’m studying geography at university.

- I can smell smoke!


- Flowers really brighten up a room. (= flowers in general) and

- The flowers you bought me are lovely. (= particular flowers)

- Industry is using computers more and more. (= industry in general) and

- The tourism industry is booming in Malaysia. (= particular industry)

- Children should be given a sense of how business works. (= business in general) and

- The aerospace business actually lost $6 billion this year. (= particular business)

- She’s an expert on Swedish geology. (= among other Swedish things) and

- She’s an expert on the geology of Sweden. (= specifically of Sweden)