Using 'THE' to much

I have heard a few times that people use ‘THE’ too often when writing and that its use can be decreased considerable.

I have tried to search the web for more info on the use of ‘THE’ but since it is a common word it has been difficult for me to get anywhere.

What is, or, is there a rule of thumb for using ‘THE’? I write a lot of technical reports and repair instructions and when I send the report back from review some co-workers point out that I am missing a lot of ‘THE’ words.

Thanks for your assistance.

Hello, I am The French,

You can find the answer on this site, clic with your mouse on the word “grammar” up your question, after clic on the left side on articles,Mr.Alan explain the use of it.

Have a nice day :slight_smile:

Hi AeroRamer,

I’ve never heard of any “rule” about using the word “the” too much. There are times when “the” does not need to be repeated in a sentence; there are times when “the” is not needed at all; there are times when the indefinite article “a” would be better; and there are times when you can use other determiners (such as “this” and “that”, for example). And so on.

To me, using the word “the” when it is not appropriate is simply “misuse”, not “over-use”. For example, you can say “he did not go to school yesterday”. To refer to the general concept of attending classes at an educational facility, you would not say “the school” in that sentence. However, you could use “the” with the word “school” if you wanted to refer more specifically to a particular school (or schools) for some reason. For example:

  • Bill does not attend the same school that John attends.

Technical writing can sometimes be a bit more “telegraphic” than other types of writing. However, if your co-workers are native speakers of English, then it sounds as though you should not be worried about over-using the word “the”, but rather about under-using it.

I would need to see specific examples of the writing your co-workers have criticized in order to say whether I agree with them or not. One thing I will say, however, is that making your writing too telegraphic could possibly end up making your manuals harder to read for the people who need to use them.

[color=darkblue][size=84]“Few things are harder to put up with than a good example.” ~ Mark Twain[/size]

Thanks. Found it. :wink:

That will make sense. Check if this will help. The ones in BOLD are the ones in question now. I gave up on some of the others. :roll:

  1. This analysis validates the structural integrity of the Box#2 System installation on US DC-3 aircraft fitted with THE Box#1 System.

  2. On rack C1, two (2) Box#3 Controls, P/N 333 and their rack mounts, P/N 444 are removed from THE rack shelf at waterline (WL) 001.

  3. The ABC111 and ABC111 mount attach to two (2) existing channel sections P/N 555 and 666 on C1 rack shelf at WL 002 with four screws P/N MS27039-1-13 using THE existing hole pattern from removed Barometric Altitude Controls.

  4. On ABC222, two Box#4 gadgets, P/N 777 are removed from THE bottom shelf. In their place, two Box#5 gadgets, P/N 888 are installed as depicted in Figure 12 using THE same hole pattern used by outgoing Box#4 gadgets, P/N 777.

Hello AeroRamer,

I would say that you should use all of the highlighted THEs in your sentences.

I would also say that you could omit a couple of [color=blue]THEs if you changed the wording a bit in sentence 1, for example:

  • This analysis validates the structural integrity [color=blue]of Box#2 installation on US DC-3 aircraft fitted [color=blue]with Box#1 Systems.

[size=84]“The omission of good is no less reprehensible than the commission of evil.” ~ Plutarch[/size]