Why it is right to use "the rain" and "the lottery" in the following sentences?

If you stand in the rain, you get wet.

If I won the lottery, I would travel a lot.

Can I use "a" instead of first or second "the"?

(It becomes hard, when a noun means an abstract object.)


The lottery refers to a particular one (the main lottery in your country, or one you have just been talking about). A lottery would mean just any one.

As for rain, it's just usual in English to use the before weather phenomena in some contexts. He got lost in the snow. The fence blew down in the wind. It's less usual to use a, but we can do so when describing a particular quality of the weather. A light rain began to fall.

  • Why then "Tears in rain" en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tears_in_rain_monologue is written without any article? Why not "The tears in the rain" or "Tears in the rain"?
    – ged
    Aug 26 '20 at 7:55
  • Note that I deliberately said in some contexts. That phrase appears to refer to tears in general and rain in general, not the rain on a particular day. Aug 27 '20 at 7:30

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