What function does "the" have in sentences and how do I use it correctly, effectively and appropriately?

Can I say the following:

What is the real use of "the"?

Is the pronunciation of "the" always the same? I seem to remember hearing once that the pronunciation of the can change. For example, in the sentence above is there any difference between the first and second "the"?

Why is a definite article needed before "real use"?

  • Welcome to ELL! Your question is far too broad to be answered, unfortunately. Please use the edit link under your question to give us some examples of sentences in which you want to use the definite article. If you do that, we can provide a better answer for you. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Nov 18 '16 at 7:25
  • consider the question itself..I have used "the real use"..is it correct..normally I get very confused with this article – Pritam Nov 18 '16 at 7:27
  • We can help you. Please use the edit link under your question to give us an example of a use of the definite article the that you don't understand, or want to know about. Your use in the title is correct. If there are other uses that you don't understand, you should add them to your question. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Nov 18 '16 at 7:42
  • here's the link that would be helpful to get a general grasp of it. As stated earlier there's no one exact rule about the usage of articles. englishpage.com/articles/advanced-articles.htm – Cavid Hummatov Nov 18 '16 at 8:25

I'm not sure I'm right, but I think that you use "the" when you are talking about a specific object. For example

The computer (that specific one) is not working<

But when you talk about something that's not specific, you use something else. For example

Computer are on everyone's desk<

And not

The computer are on everyone's desk< In your case it is right to use "the".

It is also true that the pronunciation changes on the first letter of the Word that follows it.

The is pronunced [thee] before a vowel sound (not just a vowel).

The Apple/ The egg<

The is pronunced [thuh] in the other cases.

The house/The youth<

Hope I was clear.

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