Zero article meaning some particular thing



Please, help me with the meaning of the sentence: "Flowers in my room brighten it up"

1) Can zero article here mean that I talk about real flowers that are now in my room, in general meaning?

2) Or definite article should be used?

3) Or it will only mean a concept, like any flowers in my room will brighten it up?


Nikolay Komolov

Posted 2014-10-21T10:48:40.533

Reputation: 689



Please, help me with the meaning of the sentence: "Flowers in my room brighten it up"

The zero article here means any flowers at all in my room brighten it up.

You are not referring to any specific flowers, but to any and all flowers.

However, because the flowers in your room are part of the class of any flowers, you are indirectly referring to the flowers in your room.

It is like saying, Any flowers at all in my room brighten it up, including the actual flowers in my room.

If you want to talk specifically only about the actual flowers in your room, use the definite article or a similar word

The flowers in my room brighten it up.

Those/these flowers in my room brighten it up.


Posted 2014-10-21T10:48:40.533


Thanks) Just one more question her: "I love goods in this shop" means that I love most of the goods in it? And saying "I love the goods in this shop" implies that I love all the goods in it? Right? Thanks! – Nikolay Komolov – 2014-10-23T12:30:10.507

And can we use the second mention with no article, like "I like goods in this shop. Goods in it are of great quality"? – Nikolay Komolov – 2014-10-23T12:38:45.650


No. The zero-article refers to any goods at all, to goods in general. It does not refer to particular goods. To refer to the actual goods in a shop, use the goods. The zero-article with goods in this shop cannot refer to any definite goods in the shop. See here

– None – 2014-10-23T16:12:49.487

You see, I saw an example: "He teaches students of our university" - where it was described as "zero article" here is used as he teaches not all the students of the university. Why "goods in this store" is not the same case? – Nikolay Komolov – 2014-10-23T18:46:59.420

You should ask that as a separate question, as it is not easy to answer in the comments section. – None – 2014-10-23T20:29:45.020


Yes, #3.

Q. Why do you always have flowers in your room?

A. Flowers in my room brighten it up, and these days I need all the cheering up I can get! Have you read the news lately?

For #1: *These|those|the flowers brighten up my room.


Posted 2014-10-21T10:48:40.533

Reputation: 116 610

The room may be flowerless at the moment, just as this hamburger may have no ketchup on it: Ketchup on your hamburger really adds flavor. And there may be no bees in this room: I don't like bees in my bedroom. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2016-04-08T17:11:19.597