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(1) Dog is man's best friend.

What is the reason why "dog" in (1) is possible without a definite article "the"?
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This is correct. Dog indicates the whole species.
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It may be theoretically correct according to some, but I find it odd. It suggests dog meat to me.
I greatly prefer: Dogs are ... or possibly The dog is ...

Compare:
Chicken is my favorite food.
vs.
Chickens are the most frequently encountered farm animal in the U.S.

I can't imagine saying: Chicken is the most frequently encountered ...

CJ

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Comments  


Chickens are the most frequently encountered farm animal in the U.S.

Is it OK to use the singular form there?
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no, at least not in a language exam.