Nouns get lonely in English!

I’ve been reading a lot of student work recently and I’ve seen a lot of sentences like this:

Price of oil has risen steadily since last year.

Quantitative easing stimulates economy but might cause inflation.

Banker in the City of London earn far too much money.

Can you spot the grammar mistake in each sentence? If you’re not sure, then the correct sentences should be:

The price of oil has risen steadily since last year.

Quantitative easing stimulates the economy but might cause inflation.

Bankers in the City of London earn far too much money.

I could try and tell you boring and complex rules about the use of articles and plurals in English but you wouldn’t want to hear them and you would have fallen asleep before you got to the end of the list! But I will try and tell you something about nouns in English: they get lonely!

I like dogs.
I saw a dog this morning.
The dog I saw was black.
I like your dog.

In each case – the basic noun ‘dog’ needs a plural form, or an article, or something!

Hang on! What about the other nouns in the sentences above, like ‘oil’ and ‘inflation’. I’m not talking about uncountable nouns. They don’t get so lonely!

There’s a great page here about article usage from the University of Southampton!

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