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Old 30.01.2019, 23:41
kay kay is offline
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Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

I recently took a pre-employment test. I didn't pass the first
time. They gave me a second chance. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it
again because the test seemed too difficult for me. It's based on
around 160-page guidelines written in English. I had taken pains to
read it through. This time I read only substantial pages with more meticulous attention. I passed the second time last night.


I'll discuss the following sentences here.

This time I read only substantial pages with more meticulous attention.
This time I read only the substantial pages with more meticulous attention.


Is the definite article, 'the' required just before 'substantial pages'?
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Old 30.01.2019, 23:51
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

Both correct, different emphasis/meaning.
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Old 30.01.2019, 23:53
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

Hi, how different emphasis/meaning?
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Old 30.01.2019, 23:57
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

To my eyes, you need to define the article, but in truth, I believe the whole sentence is wrong. I would write...

This time, I only read the substantial pages, but with meticulous attention.
...or...
This time, I only read the substantial pages, but with even more meticulous attention.

There's a trend around the use of 'more' that annoys the hell out of me, e.g. "I want a more bigger car." it sets my teeth on edge every time I hear or see it.

**Waiting for RufusB to correct me**
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Old 31.01.2019, 00:05
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

I would settle for the option without the definite particle 'the'.
If you stick 'the', then it would mean the absolute/you could say, most substantial articles. And the sentence suggests just substantial /i.e. of bigger importance to you/reader.
In news feeds, BBC news website, they often forego articles for brevity and clarity.

However, i still don't understand why they say THE Ukraine. Is there another, less important Ukraine on the map?

Last edited by VenusC; 31.01.2019 at 00:08. Reason: Surprisingly made a mistake while talking about grammar!
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Old 31.01.2019, 00:22
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

I only read the substantial pages [ of the document we are considering ]

I only read substantial pages [in order to gain a quick understanding of the document]

IMHO
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Old 31.01.2019, 00:26
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

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To my eyes, you need to define the article, but in truth, I believe the whole sentence is wrong.


So do I. No-one would ever write it like that, "the" or not.

I wouldn't know what is meant by "substantial pages".
I'd probably use "meticulously", if I were to use it at all.


"This time I paid more attention to the most important pages and I passed on the second attempt."
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Old 31.01.2019, 03:13
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

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I recently took a pre-employment test. I didn't pass the first
time. They gave me a second chance. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it
again because the test seemed too difficult for me. It's based on
around 160-page guidelines written in English. I had taken pains to
read it through. This time I read only substantial pages with more meticulous attention. I passed the second time last night.


I'll discuss the following sentences here.

This time I read only substantial pages with more meticulous attention.
This time I read only the substantial pages with more meticulous attention.


Is the definite article, 'the' required just before 'substantial pages'?
As Odile said, meaning is slightly different.
The substantial pages would mean, you knew exactly which pages are substantial.
Substantial pages would mean, you read those which seemed most substantial to you.
Like VenusC I would opt for the option without the definite particle 'the' in your case.


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I would settle for the option without the definite particle 'the'.
If you stick 'the', then it would mean the absolute/you could say, most substantial articles. And the sentence suggests just substantial /i.e. of bigger importance to you/reader.
In news feeds, BBC news website, they often forego articles for brevity and clarity.

However, i still don't understand why they say THE Ukraine. Is there another, less important Ukraine on the map?
That is an interesting question. It's the same in German "die Ukraine".
If you find the answer to that, I'd be interested. (If I find it, I'll let you know, I didn't when doing a quick search).
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Old 31.01.2019, 08:28
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

Ukraine is correct. http://time.com/12597/the-ukraine-or-ukraine/

“The Ukraine is the way the Russians referred to that part of the country during Soviet times … Now that it is a country, a nation, and a recognized state, it is just Ukraine. And it is incorrect to refer to the Ukraine, even though a lot of people do it.”

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So do I. No-one would ever write it like that, "the" or not.

I wouldn't know what is meant by "substantial pages".
I'd probably use "meticulously", if I were to use it at all.


"This time I paid more attention to the most important pages and I passed on the second attempt."
Yep. Substantial sounds wrong. I'd go for "most significant" - and that requires "the".

(Or does it require the "the"?)
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Old 31.01.2019, 08:48
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

The whole paragraph, from beginning to end, sounds wrong to me. The “the” is a minor issue in such context....
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Old 31.01.2019, 08:57
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

The whole sentence sounds wrong to me, I don’t like the use of substantial here at all.

I would probably say

I meticulously read the more significant/relevant pages this time

Or

I meticulously read the most important pages this time.

Assuming that you know exactly which pages were the relevant ones and given that you are specifically referring to a certain document I would use the definite article ‘the’ in the sentence.
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Old 31.01.2019, 09:13
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

I agree that 'substantial' is not really the right word in this context, so the question is not really valid. 'Important', 'significant', 'useful' or 'relevant' could work better, depending on the exact meaning required, and with any of these the definite article would be used, most likely along with a modifier like 'more' or 'most'.

'Substantial' implies a size or amount, so would more often be used with the indefinite article and would usually require some other sort of modifier, like 'a substantial portion of the book', and crucially gives no judgement about which part or parts were involved. "The" substantial pages would imply that some were physically bigger than others, which I'm pretty sure was not the intended meaning.
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Old 31.01.2019, 11:56
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

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Ukraine is correct. http://time.com/12597/the-ukraine-or-ukraine/

“The Ukraine is the way the Russians referred to that part of the country during Soviet times … Now that it is a country, a nation, and a recognized state, it is just Ukraine. And it is incorrect to refer to the Ukraine, even though a lot of people do it.”

Yep. Substantial sounds wrong. I'd go for "most significant" - and that requires "the".

(Or does it require the "the"?)
While I agree that Ukraine should be without THE, I must say that even in Soviet times Ukraine was Ukraine /or, the Ukrainian SSR, one of many, hence THE/. That said, Russian language has no articles. So how they presumed otherwise, I don't know.

Sorry for swaying away from the topic!
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Old 31.01.2019, 12:27
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

Since OP's question has been answered:
Is being a country relevant? I may be wrong but I would argue that it's a name in singular so there can't be an article (exceptions apply). Like Germany, France, Alaska, Zurich/Zürich, Bayern/Bavaria, etc.
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Old 02.02.2019, 18:34
kay kay is offline
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To my eyes, you need to define the article, but in truth, I believe the whole sentence is wrong. I would write...

This time, I only read the substantial pages, but with meticulous attention.
...or...
This time, I only read the substantial pages, but with even more meticulous attention.

There's a trend around the use of 'more' that annoys the hell out of me, e.g. "I want a more bigger car." it sets my teeth on edge every time I hear or see it.

**Waiting for RufusB to correct me**
Your second sentence is wrong because it changes the meaning of the original sentence.

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I agree that 'substantial' is not really the right word in this context, so the question is not really valid. 'Important', 'significant', 'useful' or 'relevant' could work better, depending on the exact meaning required, and with any of these the definite article would be used, most likely along with a modifier like 'more' or 'most'.

'Substantial' implies a size or amount, so would more often be used with the indefinite article and would usually require some other sort of modifier, like 'a substantial portion of the book', and crucially gives no judgement about which part or parts were involved. "The" substantial pages would imply that some were physically bigger than others, which I'm pretty sure was not the intended meaning.
Unfortunately, your reply is far from valid. Refer to your dictionary. There's more to 'substantial'. It is very inconsiderate of you to judge the OP with your defective knowledge.

[QUOTE=Landers;3035891]
I wouldn't know what is meant by "substantial pages".

Refer to your dictionary.

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The whole sentence sounds wrong to me, I don’t like the use of substantial here at all.

I would probably say

I meticulously read the more significant/relevant pages this time

Or

I meticulously read the most important pages this time.

Assuming that you know exactly which pages were the relevant ones and given that you are specifically referring to a certain document I would use the definite article ‘the’ in the sentence.

It doesn't matter if you like it or not. What's important is if it is grammatically correct.
Also, your sentences change the meaning of the original sentence, so they are wrong.

Some people use 'substantial' this way.

Stalin's name appears only one in two substantial pages of the syllabus for the Soviet period, and then simply in a list of leading figures.

https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=...ges%22&f=false

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The whole paragraph, from beginning to end, sounds wrong to me. The “the” is a minor issue in such context....
Your comment is very bad and rated as the lowest.

The whole paragraph from beginning to end sounds very insulting and unclear, lacking any intention to be of help or explanation.

Hope you can work it out.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 02.02.2019 at 21:18. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 02.02.2019, 20:59
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Re: Grammar question: I read only <the> substantial pages

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I recently took a pre-employment test. I didn't pass the first
time. They gave me a second chance. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it
again because the test seemed too difficult for me. It's based on
around 160-page guidelines written in English. I had taken pains to
read it through. This time I read only substantial pages with more meticulous attention. I passed the second time last night.


I'll discuss the following sentences here.

This time I read only substantial pages with more meticulous attention.
This time I read only the substantial pages with more meticulous attention.


Is the definite article, 'the' required just before 'substantial pages'?
In both sentences, "substantial" is an adjective. In both sentences, I agree with BM and others that the use of the word is semantically tricky. It may fall in the broad meaning of "weighty and important", but it doesn't really work here. It sounds like a Google Translate(d) phrase. However, you do need the definite article, so of the two options the second one is better, but not great.


Again, agreed, the use of meticulous is a bit strange.

You know how in a thesaurus you can easily get from run (the verb) to chicken coop (noun), right? Technically they are connected and chicken run and chicken coop are synonyms. However, run (to pick up your feet and move very quickly) is very different to the wire thing you keep your chickens in.

Substantial means important, weighty, but it does not quite mean this in the context in which it is used above. English is like that. Quicksand.



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It doesn't matter if you like it or not. What's important is if it is grammatically correct.
Also, your sentences change the meaning of the original sentence, so they are wrong.

Some people use 'substantial' this way.

Stalin's name appears only one in two substantial pages of the syllabus for the Soviet period, and then simply in a list of leading figures.

https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=...ges%22&f=false

Your Stalin example is also semantically itchy. It reads as though the pages about Stalin are somehow heavier or thicker than the rest of the pages in the book. It does not work - you can get as annoyed as you like about it but there you go.


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Your comment is very bad and rated as the lowest.

The whole paragraph from beginning to end sounds very insulting and unclear, lacking any intention to be of help or explanation.

Hope you can work it out.
Why is Tilia's comment insulting? She's correct. There's more wrong with both sentences than the use of the article.

However, to clarify - you generally need an article (the, those, a, an etc) before a noun. (On a tangent here, some nouns are non-count nouns and also need a further qualifier, such as "milk." You have to have container for that milk, be it a glass or a cow. You need "a glass/mug of milk," not "a milk.")



Your text:

I recently took a pre-employment test. I didn't pass the first time. They gave me a second chance. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it

I took a pre-employment test recently. They gave me a second chance as I didn't pass the first time around.

again because the test seemed too difficult for me. It's based on around 160-page guidelines written in English. I had taken pains to
It was based around 160 pages of guidelines written in in English. I took great pains to read it through carefully/ I read it through, taking great pains to read it closely.

read it through. This time I read only substantial pages with more meticulous attention. I passed the second time last night.

This time I only read the most important/significant pages, with even more meticulous attention to detail. Last night I passed second time around/ I passed second time around last night.


Sentences tend to follow the "Time, Manner, Place" rule, but, as ever with English, you'll immediately find an example that is an exception to this rule.

Last edited by RufusB; 02.02.2019 at 21:16. Reason: Just seen Blueangel's comment. I do hate to disappoint a lady... ;)
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