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Names of musical instruments

Note 1. Remember to use the mumps, the measles, the flu.

Unit 12

The Use of Articles with Some Semantic Groups of Nouns (2)

Names of Diseases

This group includes a considerable number of uncountable nouns: pneumonia, influenza (flu in colloquial English), scarlet fever, cholera, anaemia, cancer, diabetes, diphtheria, hepatitis, tuberculosis, mumpsandmeasles (The latter are both used with a singular verb), etc.

· Names of diseases are generally found without any article, as in most cases they are used just to name the kind of disease:

The doctor said he had pneumonia and told him to keep warm.

· The definite article may be used with names of diseases in a clear case of back reference or if there is a particularizing attribute:

The family was sitting around watching TV, recovering from the flu.

After the diphtheria Jane felt very weak and depressed.

The boy Roger arrived home with the measles.

The mumps causes swelling of the glands.

Note 2.Certain nouns which are not special medical terms are, however, used to name diseases. They may be countable, such as cold, chill, cough or uncountable:

He had a (bad, splitting) headache.

He had a toothache.

He had a sore throat.

He had heart trouble.

I have a boil on my hand.

She had a bruise on her leg.

Words ending in “-ache” behave in different ways, in British English. They may be countable or uncountable, so you can say:

I’ve got earache.

I’ve got an earache.

However “headache” is a countable noun, and so you can have “a headache” or regular “headaches”, but you cannot say “I’ve got headache”.

Next morning she complained of a headache.

In American English all “-ache” words are countable nouns.

· When you are talking about someone’s ability to play a musical instrument you use the definite article:

She already played the guitar.

I became interested in the piano again. (= interested in playing the piano)

· If you want to talk about roles in a musical group or in a piece of music you use no article:

I don’t think I know of any duets for piano and trumpet.

· There is also no article after “on”, meaning “playing”:

I have bought a recording featuring Ray Brown on bass.

· If you talk about either the general class of instrument or any particular instrument you use the definite or indefinite article:

The guitar can have six or twelve strings. (entire class)

A guitar can have six or twelve strings. (any guitar)

Words in this category are:

(the) television (the) telly (the) TV the box (the) radio the news the telephone the phone the newspapers the press the paper the post (Br) the mail (Am)

· When systems of mass communication and the media are referred to these nouns are used with the definite article (or sometimes without an article). In this way they can be distinguished from actual objects; “a radio” will always be a particular object, but the radio” could refer to a system, as in this example:

We gather facts and attitudes from the press, the television and the radio.

I just heard her speaking on the radio

A large part of Linda's day is spent on the telephone.

But: “by telephone” and “by phone”

One morning an amazing letter arrived through the post.

But: “by post”

The papers are saying how unusual it is.

· When referring to television as a form of entertainment, there is no article. But the definite article is also used (which tends to be informal)

He isn't as serious as he is on television.

Note. The abbreviations, “TV”, “telly” and “the box” (always with the) can be used in the same way:

I don't want to be seen on the telly.

· When referring to radio as an art form or profession there is no article:

He had already become a climbing spokesman on radio.


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  • - Media and communications

    Names of musical instruments Note 1. Remember to use the mumps, the measles, the flu. Unit 12 The Use of Articles with Some Semantic Groups of Nouns (2) Names of Diseases This group includes a considerable number of uncountable nouns: pneumonia, influenza (flu in colloquial English), scarlet fever, cholera, anaemia, cancer, diabetes, diphtheria, hepatitis, tuberculosis, mumpsandmeasles (The latter are both used with a singular verb), etc. · Names of diseases are... [читать подробенее]