As a general rule, uncountable abstract nouns are used without any article. The absence of the article has the nominating meaning.  

As a general rule, uncountable abstract nouns are used without any article. The absence of the article has the nominating meaning.

Indifference and pride look very much alike, and he probably thought I was proud.

I knew that generosity would have been wasted on him.

2.The definite article is used with uncountable nouns when they are modified by a particularizing attri­bute or when the situation makes the idea definite. The definite article is used here to denote a particular instance of the notion expressed by the noun. In this case the meaning of the article is restricting.

He was in a state of the greatest excitement.

They were surprised at the curious silence into which he had fallen.

It was very still in the house. Suddenly a faint sound could be heard in the stillness.

3.The definite article is also found with substantivized adjectives denoting abstract notions: the ordinary, the average, the beautiful, the unusual, the supernatural, the extravagant, the unknown, the regrettable, the normal, the grotesque, the unbearable, etc.

"You shouldn't think you're something out ofthe ordinary, "she said.

"Do you believe in the supernatural?" he asked.

To this group also belong nouns always used with the definite article as the present, the past, the future, the singular, the plural:

He is certain nothing will happen in the near future.

He told strange stories of the past.

Note. Mark the difference in meaning between the expressions in future (надалі), i.e. from this time on, and in the future (у майбутньому), i.e. after a certain period of time passes. A future is possible when this noun is the focus of communication.

I hope in future you’ll be more careful.

Everybody knew an enviable position awaited him in the future.

It was an uncertain future, but she had nobody else to turn to for help.

4. Abstract nouns can be used with the indefinite article. In this case the abstract noun denotes a certain kind (відтінок) of a quality, feeling, state, etc. The noun nearly always has a descriptive attribute. The meaning of the indefinite article is called aspective.

A dull anger rose in his chest.

There seemed to be a wonderful excitement everywhere in the world.

There wasa tenderness in his voicethat moved her.

After a timea loneliness fell upon the two men.

There wasa bitterness in her voice.

"A loneliness" means "a certain loneliness" and "a bitterness" means "a certain bitterness" here.

5.Sometimes an uncountable abstract noun is used with an at­tribute and yet has no article. In some cases the attribute does not bring out a special aspect of the notion expressed by the noun. The attribute may express



· degree or extent (great, perfect, suf­ficient, huge, tremendous, immense, sheer, utter, complete, infinite, endless, major and some others ): immense joy, sheer foolishness

· time and historical periods (modern, ancient, im­pending, eternal, daily, contemporary, further, final, original): modern art, further discussion, ancient history

· national­ity (English, French, etc.): Italian music, French poetry

· position or locality (London, world ,outside, inner, local, internal, etc.): inner vision, inside information

· authenticity or reliability (real, genuine, authentic, symbolic, true, solid, falseand some oth­ers): real freedom, true friendship

· social characteristic (Soviet, bour­geois, capitalist, racial, religious, etc.): racial segregation, feudal law

· genres or trends in art (dramatic, theatrical, classical, romantic, detective, etc.): romantic prose, detective literature

· man’s social and spiritual life (social, public, political, intellectual, spiritual, moral, mental, reasonable, personal, etc.): public recognition, human philosophy

· man’s manner or behaviour (polite, formal, nervous, serious, etc.): nervous attitude, formal behaviour

· recurrent or going on without stopping phenomena (continual, continuous, constant, incessant, etc.): incessant talk, constant displeasure

· there are also some other adjectives of different meaning (good, bad, free, critical, ordinary, plain, human, etc.): ordinary honesty, human psychology

As these attributes do not express a special aspect, the nouns modified by them are used without any article.

I haveperfect confidence in him.

She hasgreat experience in her work.

I'm sure your work will give youcomplete satisfaction.

They talked aboutmodern poetry.

It's three o'clock byKyiv time.

Ron was particularly interested inancient sculpture.

Note.But the definite article is used with the combinations French poetry, modern art, American literature, German philosophy if there is a descriptive attribute, as in the French poetry of the 19-th century.

6.Some nouns are never used with the indefinite article. They are nouns of verbal character denoting actions, activity, and process, such as advice, assistance, admiration, guidance, permission, progress, recognition, research, torture, work, information, approval, concern, trade (торгівля) and some others.



This rule applies also to the following nouns: weather, money, news, luck, fun, nature, health, nonsense, evidence, bliss, breeding, cunning and some others.

I am not sure whether it isgood news or bad.

He was anxiously waiting forpermission to begin his experiment.

As I knew, Mr. March always expressedgloomy concern if one of his children had a sore throat.

He felthonest admiration for his colleague.

She was makinggreat progress.

They promised Jacksonfurther assistance.

Note. Although the above mentioned nouns are never used with the indefinite article, they can be used with the definite article.

He told me ofthe progress he was making.

The news was so upsetting that she said she would not see anyone that night.

What isthe weather like today?

7. The nouns pity, shame, disgrace, pleasure, relief, comfort, disappointmentare always used with the indefinite article in the following constructions:

· in sentences with the formal it as subject when they are used as predicative of the main clause: It’s a pity. It’s a shame.

· in exclamatory sentences after what: What a disgrace!


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