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Hi

I always get puzzled over the usage of the article "THE" in sentences. Following are two sentences from a paragraph which I was going through. Though I know the first sentence is the right one, I just added the article "THE" before the word "unauthorized." I want to know whether I have created an error and if true, please explain...

DRM is designed to stop unauthorised copying or playback of tracks purchased online.

DRM is designed to stop the unauthorised copying or playback of tracks purchased online.
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Hello, fog Emotion: smile

The first sentence is definitely correct. It means that something has been designed to stop any/all unauthorised copying or playback of tracks.

The second sentence might also be correct, in the appropriate context. One of the functions of the definite article is to limit the scope of the noun it modifies. So, in this sentence, you are probably referring to some specific instance (or instances) of illegal copying or playback of those tracks.
For example (I'll change your sentence slightly):
"DRM has been designed to stop the unauthorised copying and playback of tracks purchased online that we have been suffering lately."

This new sentence does not refer to "unauthorised copying..." in general, but to "the unauthorised copying and..." that has been taking place lately.

I hope it helps.

Miriam
Hi Miriam

Thanks for the explanation. It would sure help me at other instances as well.

Thanks again!
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You're welcome, Fog. Emotion: smile

Be careful with the use of articles in English, though; this is not the only rule for the use of the definite article.
I don't know what your first language is, but this topic usually gives Spanish-speaking people a headache! I had problems myself with this when I started studying English; the rules for the use of articles in English and Spanish are very different!

Miriam
"DRM is designed to stop the unauthorised copying or playback of tracks purchased online" is absolutely correct and better than "DRM is designed to stop unauthorised copying or playback of tracks purchased online."

"Copying" alone, being a gerund, may not require "the," but "playback" is a full-blown noun here. For the sake of parallelism, it should be "... the copying (implied 'of') and the playback of tracks purchased on line."
The addition of "that we have been suffering lately" changes little or nothing in terms of the usage of "the" before "unauthorised."

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Hi, Guest.

Your is an interesting post.
There are a few things I don't understand, though.

A gerund may very well take an article in English. On the other hand, not every noun requires one.

I posted that the addition of "that we have been suffering lately" does change something in terms of the use of the article.

Would you tell me why, in your opinion, it does not?

Thank you,

Miriam

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Hi,

I am not the 'Guest' but I wish you will excuse me for using your post to ask and answer some questions.

You said, "A gerund may very well take an article in English. On the other hand, not every noun requires one." -- I agree but only few gerunds can take an article I THINK. Only one that comes up (in my mind) is the word 'reading' but I am not quite sure it is a gerund in this context.

A reading you have done yesterday was good.

As to the issue (question??) of whether the addition of "that we have been suffering lately" would change anything in terms of the use of the article, I would ask "Would the following say any different or would they just affirm what you were trying to assert (as I see it)?"

Something has been designed to stop (the) unwelcomed intrusions to our lives that we have been suffering lately.

Here, I think 'the' is optional and it could just do without and I think the Guest was trying to say (as I see it) that 'the' are there for the sake of parallelism and also, partly due to (maybe wholly due to) the subsequent phrase "of tracks purchased online" and not particularly due to the existence of the clause "that we have been suffering lately."

Incidently??, I think it is appropropriate to say like this if we construe??(think of) the phrase "unauthorized copying and play back" as a single concept and it is to be thought of as a single action:

DRM has been designed to stop an (implied "action of" ) unauthorised (shouldn't it be "authorized"?) copying and playback of tracks purchased online that we have been suffering lately.

I think you can put 'the' if there is only one unauthorizing copying and playback of tracks purchased online that they have been suffering lately like this:

DRM has been designed to stop the (no implied "action" here) unauthorized copying and playback of tracks purchased online that have been suffering lately. -- Here, I am still thinking of the phrase "unauthorized copying and playback" in a single concept term.

Does all this make sense?