The term zero article refers to noun phrases that contain no articles, definite or indefinite. English, like many other languages, does not require an article in plural noun phrases with a generic reference, a reference to a general class of things. English also uses no article before a mass noun or a plural noun if the reference is indefinite, a thing that is not specifically identifiable in context. For example:
generic mass noun: Happiness is contagious.
generic plural noun: Cars have accelerators.
generic plural noun: They want equal rights.
indefinite mass noun: I drink coffee.
indefinite plural noun: I saw cars.
In English, the zero article rather than the indefinite article is often used with plurals and mass nouns :
Friends have told us that they like our new house.
The definite article is sometimes omitted before some words for specific institutions, such as prison, school, and hospital.
She is in hospice.
The criminal went to prison.
I'm going to school.
The article may also be omitted between a preposition and the word bed when describing activities typically associated with beds.
There is variation among dialects concerning which words may be used without the definite article. Standard American English, for example, requires the before hospital. In some dialects in the North of England, especially in Lancashire and Yorkshire, the pronunciation of the word the is commonly abbreviated. In these regions, the definite article may also be reduced to,, or a glottal stop.
I'm going to t' shop.
I'm driving down t' road.
Indian English frequently omits both definite and indefinite articles.
Zero relative pronoun
English can omit the relative pronoun from a dependent clause in two principal situations: when it stands for the object of the dependent clause's verb, and when it stands for the object of a preposition in the dependent clause. For example:
Here both the relative pronoun "who" and the passivizing auxiliary verb "was" are omitted. This type of clause can cause confusion on the part of the reader or listener, because the subordinate-clause verb appears in the usual location of the main-clause verb. However, this confusion cannot arise with an irregular verb having a past participle that differs from the past tense, as in
"The horse taken past the barn fell"
Zero subordinating conjunction
Often the subordinating conjunction that is optionally omitted, as in
"I wish you were here"
in which the dependent clause you were here omits the subordinating conjunction that.
Zero pronoun in imperative
Like many languages, English usually uses a zero pronoun in the second person of the imperative mood, as in
which also is occasionally expressed with the pronoun explicit.
Zero preposition refers to the nonstandard omission of a preposition. In Northern Britain some speakers omit the prepositions to or of in sentences with two objects.
Zero past marking is the absence of the past marker "ed" occurring in some nonstandard dialects of English, such as Caribbean English. Instead of an ending, the past is dealt with in other ways. The feature leads to sentences like this:
"Yesterday, I watch television."
"I had pass the test."
Zero plural marking is the absence of the plural markers "s" and "es" occurring in some nonstandard dialects of English, such as Caribbean English. The plural is instead marked by an article or number. This leads to sentences like:
"I have two cat"
In grammar, zero plural also refers to the irregular plural where the singular form and the plural form are the same i.e. I have one sheep OR I have two sheep. Zero possessive marking is the absence of the possessive marker "'s" in some nonstandard varieties of English, such as African AmericanVernacular English leading to sentences like:
"I went to my father house"
Zero third person agreement is the absence of the third person forms of verbs ending in "s" and "es" occurring in some nonstandard dialects of English, such as African American Vernacular English. This feature is widely stigmatized as being a solecism.