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Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:34 am
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Post by Rustamsher »


I think the use of the definite article with some nationality words is not clear cut. In some grammar books we can see the definite article always used before nationalities. Other grammar ones say that we do not normally use the definite article and give examples like (the) Italians, (the) Mexicans, (the) Turks and so on. From that we can understand that "the" is optional.
When do we use the Italians and Italians (without article)?
Is it considered to be one of the half-general cases?

As a learner of EFL, I don't quite understand the nuance and distinction between them. Could you please explain it throughly?

Many thanks.
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:42 am
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Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Article

Post by darcy »

1) The Italians eat a lot of pasta.
2) Italians eat a lot of pasta.
Both 1 and 2 are correct.

Sentence 1 means the Italians as a group. 2 means Italian people in general.
Here, it doesn't matter whether you say 'The' or not.

However, sometimes only one option is correct.
For example:
'The Italians joined the euro in 2002.'
Here the speaker clearly means the whole group, the whole country.
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