The Definite Article ‘The’

It’s impossible to speak English fluently without learning the basic rules. Therefore, today we will remember when you need to use the article ‘the’ in sentences.

‘The’ is the definite article and used to refer to specific or particular nouns. So, ‘the’ is applied in the following cases:

1.When an object or person has already been mentioned or is known from the context.

Examples: 1) This is a T-shirt. The T-shirt is blue.

2) My parents are in the village.

  1. If the noun is unique.

Example: The Fin Whale is on the brink of extinction.

  1. Before nouns denoting parts of the day.

Example: I do my homework in the evening.

  1. With comparatives and superlatives.

Examples: 1) The sooner we finish, the quicker we’ll get home.

2) It’s the best café in Tokyo.

  1. If an ordinal number is used before a noun.

Example: She is the fifth in the line.

  1. We use ‘the’ before such words as next, following, last, very, only.

Example: In the following week she is going to Paris.

  1. When we talk about everyday experiences and activities.

Examples: 1) We’re going to the pub tonight.

2) Let’s go to the opera tomorrow, what do you think?

  1. ‘The’ can be used with noncount nouns.

Example: The tea in the cup is very hot.

  1. When it is necessary to make a comparison or further clarify any detail.

Example: You are not the polite Tom I knew.

  1. Before nicknames.

Example: “Taras Shevchenko was nicknamed ‘The Kobzar’ after the publishing his poetry collection.”

  1. The article ‘the’ is used with the following proper names:
  • names of rivers, oceans and seas: the Nile, the Pacific
  • points on the globe: the Equator, the North Pole
  • geographical areas: the Middle East, the West
  • deserts, forests, gulfs, and peninsulas: the Sahara, the Persian Gulf, the Black Forest, the Iberian Peninsula
  • names of some countries: the USA, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom
  • with nationalities: the Ukrainians, the Americans
  • bridges: The Lions Gate Bridge, The Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • inventions, machines, instruments: the telephone, the piano
  • money: the dollar
  • newspapers: The New York Times, The Telegraph

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