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Could you please tell me the difference? Before animals can we use the to refer to a whole species. Is it also applicable to fruits?

What is the difference between these?

A- The mango is a juicy fruit.B
B- A mango is a juicy fruit.

C- Mangoes are juicy fruits.


D- Like the ant, the bee lives in a group and its nest is called hive.

E- Like an ant, a bee lives in a group and its nest is called hive.

F- Like ants, bees live in a group and its nest is called hive.


My grammar book says we use the to refer a whole species. And there is an example saying 'The giraffe is the longest animal.'


I asked almost the same question yesterday on this site. And the teacher said that 'the ant, the bee' should be 'ants, bees'. But why so!! Because bees and ants have so many varieties and I want to refer them all. Could you please explain this for me.


https://www.englishforums.com/English/UsageReferWholeSpecies/bxqmcg/post.htm#sc2671280

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cat deskBefore animals can we use the to refer to a whole species.

Not if you are talking about a single animal.

"the dog" does not refer to the whole species of dogs in sentences like

Marge takes the dog for a walk every day.
The dog bit the mailman again.
We bought a new toy for the dog.

cat desk

What is the difference between these?

A- The mango is a juicy fruit.
B- A mango is a juicy fruit.
C- Mangoes are juicy fruits.

The meaning is the same for all. This is a generic statement.

cat desk

D- Like the ant, the bee lives in a group and its nest is called hive.

E- Like an ant, a bee lives in a group and its nest is called hive.

F- Like ants, bees live in a group and its nest is called hive. their nests are called hives.

As above. A generic statement. No difference in meaning. (Note the corrections in red.)

cat deskMy grammar book says we use the to refer a whole species. And there is an example saying 'The giraffe is the longest animal.'

It should be "tallest", not "longest". Otherwise, OK.

You can use 'the' in generic statement (references to a whole species), but there are, of course, other uses of 'the'.

cat deskI asked almost the same question yesterday on this site. And the teacher said that 'the ant, the bee' should be 'ants, bees'. But why so!! Because bees and ants have so many varieties and I want to refer them all.

At the beginning of this post I showed you some examples where 'the' is used, but the references were not generic. To avoid any confusion, it is better to use the plural if you want to make a generic reference.


With regard to the link, there are always some differences in opinion where grammar is concerned.

CJ

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cat deskI asked almost the same question yesterday on this site. And the teacher said that 'the ant, the bee' should be 'ants, bees'. But why so!!

As I answered you before, my exact words were:

I prefer the plural form.

AlpheccaStars

I prefer the plural.

- Like ants, bees live in social groups. Their nest, which is made of wax in a hollow tree, is called a hive.

Like ants, bees are social insects.


CJ is giving you the exactly same advice as I did, that the plural form is preferred for generic references.

CalifJimTo avoid any confusion, it is better to use the plural if you want to make a generic reference.

I agree completely with his advice.

The examples I gave you are in support of this recommendation.