Expression: " Students are permitted..."


At the top of one English paper the following line was written:

" Students are permitted to use dictionary."

I suppose it should be a dictionary since it is no newspaper heading.

What do you think???


Hi Tom

Using “a” would be correct, but at the tops of forms, etc. it’s not unusual for a shortened form of English to be used sometimes. However, I think the “truer” short form would have been: Students permitted to use dictionaries.


Hi Tom

Here is you “twin post” of this question. :lol:

You’d think that particularly on an English paper they’d have decided to use a full sentence. :wink:
Maybe it was just a typo. It happens.


Hi Tom,

In front of any countable nouns, there is always either an article or an adjectif or a possessive.
So,in my opinions, at the grammar rule, your mentioned sentence can be written in 4 ways:

Students are permitted to use a dictionary.
Students are permitted to use their dictionary. (I see sometimes this case in newspapers).
Students are permitted to use their dictionaries.
Students are permitted to use dictionaries.

“Dictionaries” means “all dictionaries”.
If “a” is dropped, it is not right in traditional grammar but it is right in a newpaper style.