A/the majority of vs. a minority of


I am curious about such as:

  1. The/a majority of farmers…; but
  2. A minority of farmers…

“*The minority of farmer” would sound funny.

Is it because “majority” gives a sense of ‘oneness’ whereas “minority” is lack of it so that the former can take “the” but the latter cannot?

Thank you!

Hi, Haihao. Welcome back. I’ve missed you. :slight_smile:

It’s not that “minority” cannot take the definite article, but I think you have probably come close to the reason it doesn’t feel as natural.

Hello Haihao,

I have no advice to add to Mordant’s answer - I just wanted to say ‘welcome back’ too!

Hi Haihao,

That’s life - (the) minority always gives way to the majority. I think we use the definite article more with ‘minority’ when it is qualified as in: The select minority of this community usually takes the moral high ground.



Thank you so very much, Mordant, BN, and Alan! It’s really great to see your comments again and ‘meet’ you again!!