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Hi,

I came across this phrase and noticed the countable noun "location" had no determiner and have been wondering why it is so? Help.

depending upon location
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I think "depending on/upon location" is a kind of idiomatic phrase. If I'm correct, we cannot give a grammatical explanation to the use of location without "THE" or "A". They also say "depending on size", "depending on color", "depending on carrier", "depending on source", "depending on environment", etc..

paco
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location is being used as an abstract generic here.
A similar use is
Location is important when starting a new business.

Many abstract nouns are used without articles. Nouns which indicate properties (size, color, location, etc.) are frequently used this way.

CJ
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Comments  
Thank you. What perplexes me is why my doesn't state this word "location" is an abstract noun or possibly be an idiomatic expression. It said that it is a 1) countable noun and a 2) phrase (on location). In no where there, does it say that it is an abstract noun or an idiomatic expression. Where can I get that information? Does it mean my dictionary doesn't cover all the possible meaning of this word? Ist it just an inherent limitation of any printed dictionary?
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Hello Anon

I agree with you. Dictionaries (OED and Webster) contain "on location" as a US slang to mean "away from the studio (to make movie films)", but they do not mention anything about "depending on location". As far as I checked, that usage of "location" seems to get in fashion quite recently. Gutenberg project contains many (about 5000) English classic books ever published but it contains only 2 pages using "depending on/upon location".

paco
What perplexes me is why my [dictionary] doesn't state this word "location" is an abstract noun or [may] possibly be an idiomatic expression.

It's not unusual for a dictionary not to state everything possible about each entry. Dictionaries for native speakers do not usually contain much of this information, if any. Whether a noun is countable or not, and whether it can be used both as a countable noun and as a non-countable noun are factors which native speakers grasp instinctively, so there is no need for such information in the dictionary. Dictionaries for learners give much more information of this kind, but even then, they are not always complete.

CJ