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When Should You Omit Articles in English? 5 Rules

As we have learnt last week (article here), there are three articles in English: a, an, and the.

But should these articles be used with each noun in every sentence? The answer is no!

In fact, it is sometimes better to include no article at all, and there are rules regarding when to leave them out.
Don’t add an article before:

1. Proper Nouns

For names of people, businesses, cities, countries, etc., there is no need for “the”.

Incorrect: Are there direct flights to the Dubai?
✅ Correct: Are there direct flights to Dubai?

Incorrect: The George Washington was America’s first president.

✅ Correct: George Washington was America’s first president.

2. Abstract Nouns

An abstract noun is an idea, emotion, or quality.

They differ from concrete nouns in that they can’t be seen or touched. Examples: love, justice, glory…

Incorrect: The happiness is a pleasant feeling.

✅ Correct: Happiness is a pleasant feeling.

3. Languages & Subjects

Names of languages are proper nouns, and academic subjects do not receive articles because they are abstract.

Incorrect: Do you know how to speak a Spanish?

✅ Correct: Do you know how to speak Spanish?

Incorrect: The physics deals with equations.

✅ Correct: Physics deals with equations.

4. Months & Seasons

This is just like the rule above. Months are proper nouns, while seasons are abstract.

Incorrect: A summer starts in the June every year.

✅ Correct: Summer starts in June every year.

5. Meals & Mealtimes

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner don’t take “a” or “the” in most cases. The same goes for lunchtime and dinnertime.

Incorrect: Let’s meet up for a lunch this weekend.

✅ Correct: Let’s meet up for lunch this weekend.

Incorrect: Ice cream is best eaten after the dinnertime!

✅ Correct: Ice cream is best eaten after dinnertime!

Is everything clear? Let us know!

The corporate world is filled with expressions, specialized vocab words, and various acronyms.

You probably already know some of the classics like ASAP and FYI, but have you come across the more advanced ones below?

And more importantly, do you know how to use them?

1. OOO

Stands for… Out of office

Meaning: When someone is out of office, it means they are temporarily not available to work due to being on vacation or another type of leave.

Relatedly, out-of-office messages are set as automatic replies to emails/phone calls to let everyone know that one is not currently available.


Employees have been instructed to set up OOO responses.

2. ROI

Stands for… Return on investment

Meaning: Usually expressed as a percentage, ROI is a numerical measure of the success of a financial investment. If the return is positive, a profit was made. On the other hand, a negative ROI means that a portion of money was lost.

Example: The ROI of my stock portfolio is at a modest 6%.


Stands for… To be announced/To be confirmed

Meaning: Sometimes an event or product release is planned but not completely fleshed out in terms of schedule. When this happens, TBA and TBC are used to announce that something is coming but does not have a fixed date or time yet.


The clothing line is set to launch, but the exact date is TBA/TBC.

4. WFH

Stands for… Work(ing) from home

Meaning: With the rise of remote work, this term has become much more popular over the last few years. Working from home is exactly what it sounds like: Getting tasks done at home rather than commuting to an office each day.


If necessary, would you feel comfortable WFH?

5. HQ

Stands for… Headquarters

Meaning: Most large firms and corporations have locations in multiple cities, but their headquarters are considered the main office and administrative center of the entire company.


Many tech companies have their HQ in Silicon Valley.

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