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Hello.

- Many younger people are leaving the land to find work in the cities.
- Many people leave the land to find work in towns and cities.

(Advanced Oxford Dictionary)

I can't understand why is "the" in the first sentence (the cities). If we talk about cities in general we don`t use the article like in the second sentence.

Thanks.
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JesusenglandI can't understand why is "the" in the first sentence (the cities). .....- Many younger people are leaving the land to find work in the cities.
It could be the influence of the land. The writer wants both to sound the same. ???
Either with or without the seems fine to me.
In any case, it's true that the definite plural is rarely used with a generic meaning, but it does occur occasionally, e.g.,

I enjoy the food and music of (the) Mexicans. (Usually with the.)

CJ
Comments  
Uhm, most probably it was taken from another source. And "in the cities" doesn't sound that wrong to me.
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Te definite article can be used to refer back to what was discussed previously. However, it can also be used as a reference to what is assumed to be a known, as is the case in this sentence. ‘The cities’ here refers to the major cities rather than any population center—towns and cities.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.