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The is a definite article which talks about a persons already mentioned, implied or under discussion, or otherwise presumed familiar to readers or listeners. It is the only definite article in English language. The has a single form used with nouns of either gender.
Article ‘the’ is the most common word used in the English language, accounting for 7 percent of all words. ‘The’ is derived from gendered articles in Old English language, which merged in Middle English language. ‘The’ can be used with both plural and singular nouns and with nouns that start with any letter. The word ‘The’ is different from many other languages, which have different articles for different numbers or genders.
In this article, we will look at:
- How to pronounce ‘The’?
- What are the rules for usage of the definite article ‘The’?
- What are the examples of sentences with the word ‘The’?
Pronunciation of ‘the’ article changes primarily depending on whether the following sound is a vowel or a consonant. Before a consonant sound the pronunciation is (th uh) the book, the mountain (th uh -book, th uh- moun -tn). Before a vowel sound it is usually (th ee) , sometimes (th i) the apple, the end (th ee or th i- ap-uh l, th ee or th i-end). As an emphatic form (“I didn't say a book—I said the book.”) or a citation form, the usual pronunciation is (th ee), although in both of these uses of the stressed form, (th ee) is often replaced by (th uh), especially among younger speakers.
The definite article ‘The’ is used for both singular and plural nouns in accordance to the rules given below. E.g. the car, the cars.
- Before proper nouns which are particular and thought to be particular, e.g. -The moon, the sun, the stars, the earth, the equator.
- Before a noun which becomes particular by being discussed earlier, and now it is used again. E.g. - She gave money to a little boy and the boy bought toys for him.
- For such a noun that has become specific in a phrase or a clause, e.g., the young energetic boy, the boy who helped us, the white shirt I bought
- For superlatives or other adjectives making the noun very particular one. E.g. the most powerful, the first day, the only day, the best option.
- For a phrase, which is a combination of a common and proper noun, e.g., the river Nile, the Muslim League party, the New York City.
- For the names of the organizations, e.g. The Society for the protection of the Child’s Rights.
- For the names of scientific terms and concepts, laws and theories. Note that “The” will be only used if written like “The Laws of Newton” but not if written as “Newton’s Laws”.
- For the names of different universities if the names start with the word “university” such as “The University of Oxford” and not when written as “Oxford University”.
- The article ‘the’ is never used for the names of places, cities and countries, e.g. Japan, America but the article ‘The’ must be for the names which refer to a group of places or cities, e.g., The Philippines, The United States OF America.
The word ‘the’ can be used in the following cases:
1. Examples for something, which has already been mentioned.
- On Monday, an unarmed man stole $1,000 from the bank. The thief hasn't been caught yet.
- I was walking past Benny's Bakery when I decided to go into the bakery to get some bread.
- There's a position available in my team. The job will involve some international travel.
2. Examples when ‘the’ is used for assuming something present in a particular place, even if it has not been mentioned before.
- We went on a walk in the forest yesterday.
- Where is the bathroom?
- Turns left and go to number 45. Our house is across from the Italian restaurant.
- My father enjoyed the book you gave him.
3. Examples for sentences or clauses where a particular person or object is defined.
- The man who wrote this book is famous.
- I scratched the red car parked outside.
- I live in the small house with a blue door.
- He is the doctor I came to see.
4. Examples when ‘the’ is used to refer to people or objects that are unique.
- The sun rose at 6:17 this morning.
- You can go anywhere in the world.
- Clouds drifted across the sky.
- The president will be speaking on TV tonight.
- The CEO of Total is coming to our meeting.
5. Examples when ‘the’ is used before superlatives and ordinal numbers.
- This is the highest building in New York.
- She read the last chapter of her new book first.
- You are the tallest person in our class.
- This is the third time I have called you today.
6. Examples when ‘the’ is used with adjectives, to refer to a whole group of people.
- The French enjoy cheese.
- The elderly require special attention.
- She has given a lot of money to the poor.
7. Examples when ‘the’ is used with decades.
- He was born in the seventies.
- This is a painting from the 1820's.
8. Examples when the article ‘the’ is used with clauses introduced by the word ‘only’
- This is the only day we've had sunshine all week.
- You are the only person he will listen to.
- The only tea I like is black tea.
1. When ‘the’ is used with names of geographical areas, rivers, mountain ranges, groups of islands, canals, and oceans.
- They are travelling in the Arctic.
- Our ship crossed the Atlantic in 7 days.
- I will go on a cruise down the Nile.
- Hiking across the Rocky Mountains would be difficult.
2. When ‘the’ is used with countries that have plural names
- I have never been to the Netherlands.
- Do you know anyone who lives in the Philippines?
3. When ‘the’ is used with countries that include the words ‘republic’, ‘kingdom’, or ‘states’ in their names.
- She is visiting the United States.
- James is from the Republic of Ireland.
4. When ‘the’ is used with newspaper names.
- I read it in the Guardian.
- She works for the New York Times.
5. When ‘the’ is used with the names of famous buildings, works of art, museums, or monuments.
- Have you been to the Vietnam Memorial?
- We went to the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa.
- I would like to visit the Eiffel Tower.
- I saw King Lear at the Globe.
6. When ‘the’ is used with the names of hotels & restaurants, unless these are named after a person.
- They are staying at the Hilton on 6th street.
- We ate at the Golden Lion.
* When ‘the’ is used with the names of families, but not with the names of individuals.
- We're having dinner with the Smiths tonight.
- The Browns are going to the play with us.
When Not To Use ‘The’
Article ‘The’ should not be used with names of countries except for the special cases above.
- Germany is an important economic power.
- He's just returned from Zimbabwe.
- Do not use ‘the’ with the names of languages.
You have seen that “The” is the most common word used in the English Language and particular cases where it comes into use. Hope this article was helpful in providing you detailed information about the definite article ‘The’ and its usage. Follow Elawoman blog for more articles on lifestyle, tips for healthy living, infertility issuesand medical info. Call us today at +918929020600 for treatments like IVF, IUI, ICSI and Surrogacy.
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