"in the light of" vs "in light of"

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I see that both phrases "in light of" and "in the light of" are used and people considering both to be correct. Look here and here. Also there is a large corpus supporting both phrases usages; you can consult here.

Question #1:

Though both seems to be correct in terms of being used in writings, which one is grammatically correct?

Question #2:

In there any difference in their meaning implications?

I am providing two examples:

  • I will be happy to look at to them and respond to you in the light of your comments.

  • Even in light of your comments, I still fail to understand what is the difference between A and B.

Thanks

qartal

Posted 2015-01-09T15:35:14.023

Reputation: 899

Answers

4

In the light of/in light of

Both phrases convey the same sense, with the only difference that you usually say "in the light of" in BE and "in light of" in AE.

Khan

Posted 2015-01-09T15:35:14.023

Reputation: 26 261

The answer deserves to be deleted as its claim is specious. – GoDucks – 2016-01-26T17:05:27.293

I rarely use the Cambridge dictionary because of such attributions. Even its definitions are often so oversimplified as to be misleading. – GoDucks – 2016-01-26T17:35:00.987

To say that in light of is AmE is misleading, as in the light of is thoroughly AmE. It may be true that in the light of is somehow native BrE, but AmE usage is crowding BrE in many phrases. – GoDucks – 2016-01-26T17:38:08.333

In light of is the only version I've ever heard in the UK – Bee – 2019-07-10T14:56:26.713

I don't believe this answer is correct. – Martha – 2020-06-29T15:24:04.450

I've seen both forms used in writings on both sides of the proverbial pond myself, Khan. I sincerely believe that any difference would be up to the aesthetics of the speaker or their intended audience. – Omnidisciplinarianist – 2015-01-09T18:05:47.187

I followed OP's links to the "corpus" and found, as he did, both forms commonly used in many English-speaking countries. – Brian Hitchcock – 2015-01-10T08:12:37.560

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The idiom for the "given, considering" meaning is in light of - no article. However, in the light of is grammatical as well, it just doesn't mean "considering".

In the light of the full moon, the lake looked magical, like something out of a dream.

In light of the full moon falling on Tuesday, we've moved our nighttime treasure hunt to Wednesday.

To explicitly answer your questions:

  1. Both in light of and in the light of can be grammatical. (The very fact that you found both in use should have told you this.)

  2. They mean different things. The version with the definite article is used literally, while the version without an article is an idiomatic phrase that means something like "taking into consideration", and is unlikely to be used literally.

Both of your examples should use in light of (no article).

(Note that this is American English. I make no claims one way or the other about British English.)

Martha

Posted 2015-01-09T15:35:14.023

Reputation: 5 164

-1 because in AmE in the light of is used with the meaning in light of. They are, in AmE, interchangeable, in this sense. free dictionary

– GoDucks – 2016-01-26T18:01:55.060

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Just to clarify, BOTH are allowed according to Oxford, with the SAME meaning:

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/in-the-light-of-or-in-light-of

To my American ear, the "the" version sounds a bit odd, but maybe that's just me.

Tom A.

Posted 2015-01-09T15:35:14.023

Reputation: 1