General Writing and Grammar Help/Articles

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Correct?
The door of a room
A door of a room
A door of them room
I don't know how I should contect words with "of" to show positions. Is it always necessary to use "the"before and after "of"?clear it up using some examples.

ANSWER: A. The door of a room
B. A door of a room
C. A door of them room

(I've inserted the leading letters to save me a bit of time.)

C is wrong, because them cannot be used as an adjective.

A is correct if and only if the room has just one door. The definite article is required when the noun represents exactly one of the indicated category.

B is correct if and only if there is more then one door, or no doors.

*    *    *    *

I'm afraid I don't follow your remaining question. Ask me a question with the examples, and I'll do my best to answer.


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

QUESTION: Which one is correct?
1.You can do it with the use of a staple.
2.You can do it with use of staple.
3.You can do it with use of the staple.

Answer
(This is a correction of my previous answer.)

A. You can do it with the use of a staple.
B. You can do it with use of staple.
C. You can do it with use of the staple.


Dan, It will save me a bit of time in the future if you'll follow my example and distinguish your selections by capital letters instead of numbers.

Your question goes to the use of the definite article (the) and the indefinite article (a or an ).

A is correct.

B is incorrect, because a noun representing a single material object must be preceded by an article.

C is incorrect. As you're talking about any staple--not a particular staple--you must use the indefinite article. With use of is not incorrect but here is not idiomatic; precede use with the.  

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Richard Johnson

Expertise

I can answer any question--usually the same day--on correct English grammar, usage, and (non-fiction) writing style, usually the same day, based on the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.

Experience

I'm a retired editor and a lifelong student of this subject. My library includes a great many works to which I've referred through the years. I currently rely primarily on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.

Publications
For over 30 years I edited the newsletter of my own organization, which had different names but was last known as NotBarter.com.

Education/Credentials
BA, Brooklyn College. Advanced studies in economics and political science.

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.