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Use of definite article

English translation: yes, please us it

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23:51 Mar 5, 2008
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Medical - Medical (general) / Physiotherapy
English term or phrase: Use of definite article
In a medical text, the author mentions two groups: the treatment group (= TG) and the control group (CG). My doubt is whether the definite article should be used (or not) when just the abbreviations are used: "the TG was evaluated..." or just "TG was evaluated..."

Thank you.
Cristiane
English translation:yes, please us it
Explanation:
On second thought, I agree with Richard's basic argument that you should use the article because TG and CG are not proper nouns. This isn't because of any danger that the reader would confuse them with proper nouns, but just because they aren't proper nouns (they're simply abbreviations used for convenience), combined with the fact that they refer to real entities rather than absractions. (If e.g. TG and CG were symbols for mathematical quantities, you could use or omit the article depending on the specific context.)

My argument comes down to this: the abbreviations are only for convenience, and if you used the full expression you would of course use the definite article. You should thus use the definite article with the abbreviation.

As an exception, you can omit the article where terse wording is customary and generally desirable: in table headings, figure captions, and table entries.
Selected response from:

Ken Cox
Local time: 05:03
Grading comment
Thank you very much for your logical explanation!!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2yes, please us itKen Cox
4 +2as you wish ... either would be ok
David Hollywood


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
as you wish ... either would be ok


Explanation:
:)

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Note added at 4 mins (2008-03-05 23:55:13 GMT)
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if you define them initially using "the" you can go on to use "TG" and "CG" in the remainder of the text IMO ...

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Note added at 5 mins (2008-03-05 23:57:05 GMT)
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more concise to use the abs after defining ...

David Hollywood
Local time: 00:03
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 18

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Terry Burgess: Nice!
12 mins
  -> thanks Terry :)

agree  Muriel Vasconcellos: It depends on how telegraphic the style is. There's no fast rule. I did a lot of research on this in my linguistic research days!
1 hr
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54 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
use of definite article
yes, please us it


Explanation:
On second thought, I agree with Richard's basic argument that you should use the article because TG and CG are not proper nouns. This isn't because of any danger that the reader would confuse them with proper nouns, but just because they aren't proper nouns (they're simply abbreviations used for convenience), combined with the fact that they refer to real entities rather than absractions. (If e.g. TG and CG were symbols for mathematical quantities, you could use or omit the article depending on the specific context.)

My argument comes down to this: the abbreviations are only for convenience, and if you used the full expression you would of course use the definite article. You should thus use the definite article with the abbreviation.

As an exception, you can omit the article where terse wording is customary and generally desirable: in table headings, figure captions, and table entries.

Ken Cox
Local time: 05:03
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 15
Grading comment
Thank you very much for your logical explanation!!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  R-i-c-h-a-r-d: Excellent, I agree :)
14 mins

agree  Helen Carter: Just agreed with you and said more or less the same thing below! Sorry, didn't read your explanation first.
17 hrs
  -> Thanks, and no problem with the duplication -- it helps make the argument more convincing.
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Changes made by editors
Mar 5, 2008 - Changes made by R-i-c-h-a-r-d:
Language pairPortuguese to English » English


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