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English as a Second Language/The definite/indefinite article

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QUESTION: Dear Amy,

I am not sure whether or not to use the article in sentences like these:

(1) "(The) Fa soap is refreshing."
Fa is a trademark (proper noun) and soap is an uncountable noun.

(2) Cocacola drinks are delicious.
Cocacola is trademark/company name and drinks is a plural countable noun. I think an article is not neeeded here???

(3) (The) Jar cream is 100% biological.
Jar is a trademark and cream can be countable and uncountable. I am not sure whether I can say "the Jar cream..."

(4) The/a Jar product is rich in vitamins.
Jar is a trademark and product is a singular countable noun. I am not sure whether articles may be used.

I usually hear: The Bush (proper noun) administration (the is used); New York (proper noun) city; Yorkshire (proper noun) district (no article).

I know that I cannot say "Antoine book" or "The Antoine book"; it must be Antoine's book or the book of Antoine.

Please help me with your expertise and provide some links.

Thanks & best regards,
Antoine Ghannoum

ANSWER: 1) "(The) Fa soap is refreshing."  
Fa is a trademark (proper noun) and soap is an uncountable noun.

>>> "The Fa soap is refreshing."  is correct (just like "The white soap in the bathroom smells good.") it's not "the Fa" it's "the soap"
for the plural, soaps: "Fa soaps are refreshing" is correct.

(2) Cocacola drinks are delicious.
Cocacola is trademark/company name and drinks is a plural countable noun. I think an article is not neeeded here???

>>> no article is needed here. Just like above though, you'd have to say: "The/this Coca Cola drink I had yesterday was delicious."

(3) (The) Jar cream is 100% biological.
Jar is a trademark and cream can be countable and uncountable. I am not sure whether I can say "the Jar cream..."

>>> yes you can say "the Jar cream" just like "The Armani suit my friend wears is expensive."; just like above, it's not "the Jar" or "the Armani" it's "the cream" or "the suit". Also, "Jar creams are 100% biological." or "Armani suits are expensive." would be correct.

(4) The/a Jar product is rich in vitamins.
Jar is a trademark and product is a singular countable noun. I am not sure whether articles may be used.

>>> as above, you can say "the Jar product" ("a jar product" doesn't sound right)

I usually hear: The Bush (proper noun) administration (the is used); New York (proper noun) city; Yorkshire (proper noun) district (no article).

>>> all the examples above are correct

For more on the proper use of articles with proper nouns see these links:

http://www.yale.edu/graduateschool/writing/forms/The%20Use%20of%20Articles%20wit

http://usefulenglish.ru/grammar/part-8-articles-with-miscellaneous-proper-names

I hope this helps.

Best,

Amy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your reply.
If I consider "soap" as an uncountable noun, I cannot say "the Fa soap...."  I think the same applies to "Jar cream".

Please confirm whether this is grammatically correct.

Answer
Antoine,

please see my answer above.

You can say "the Fa soap" or "the Jar cream" but most times the context will help you decide if it's correct or not.

here are some more examples:

The Fa soap I bought yesterday smells good.
The Jar cream my mom uses is 100% organic.

as far as the sentences you inquired about initially:

"The Fa soap is refreshing." is correct, but an even more correct version of the sentence would be " Fa soaps are refreshing." or "The soap made/produced by Fa is refreshing" if what you are trying to say is that all soap made by Fa is refreshing.

Same thing for "the Jar cream"

I hope this helps.

Best,

Amy

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker

Expertise

I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

Experience

I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

Education/Credentials
BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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