Omit an artice...

Questions from teachers about English grammar and usage

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Omit an artice...

Unread post by TeachYa » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:16 am

Is there a grammar exception according to which we could say "Forge alliance" in stead of "Forge AN alliance"?

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Re: Omit an artice...

Unread post by Lingo » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:56 am

Hi TeachYa,

I realize this reply is a few months late, but in any case...

Yes, the article can be omitted as in newspaper headlines: "News Corp Australia and website operator Seek forge alliance." But the difference is really one of generic reference and indefinite reference.

"Forge alliance" is generic: we're talking about alliances as a whole class of things.

e.g. "But as long as it remained beyond the range of possibility, the party's choice was to forge alliance with like-minded parties."

With "forge an alliance" we are talking about an unidentified subset of the class of alliances.

e.g. "Find the lowest rung on the corporate ladder and forge an alliance."

I found all three examples in a Google search. It is also important to remember that there is no 1:1 relation between reference type and article type.

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