Question from Adam in Taiwan:
Instructions for an English assessment read:
Student is asked to read the sentence.
Some teachers feel that there must be a ‘the’ before student. I feel that the ‘the’ is implied and isn’t necessary. I would like to know how others feel.
You’re right about the article ‘the’ being implied in this case. Often instructions, notices, or orders omit the article. Some typical examples from a recipe (a set of cooking instructions) would be:
- Add water to pan and bring to boil.
- Place tea in pot and pour hot water over tea leaves.
- Pour tea into cup, add milk and sugar as required.
We leave out, for the sake of clarity and brevity the articles:
- Add the water to the pan and bring to boil.
- Place the tea in the pot and pour hot water over the tea leaves.
- Pour the tea into a cup, add the milk and the sugar as required.
In your example – instructions from an assessment – it may go on with similar sentences:
- student reads sentence
- students answer all questions
- when completed, student submits assessment
Hope that helps, Adam.