Questions tagged [definite-article]

For questions about "The", the only definite article used in English.

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29
votes
1answer
3k views

Uses of the definite article (the) in generic noun phrases

I was reading a paragraph about lions and I came up with a question about the definite article (the). Let me tell you first what I know about it. 1->We use the before a singular noun (when we are ...
20
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2answers
2k views

Articles: When do I use “a”, “the”, or “__”?

How do I know whether to use the definite (the) or indefinite (a, an) article, and when to omit it altogether?
27
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3answers
2k views

The summer training or (just) summer training

Should we use the summer training or just summer training in the paragraph. As per me training is a noun and before singular noun we have to use an article and I am using the because I am talking ...
15
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4answers
9k views

Using THE before some countries

I have been taught that it's grammatically proper to use the before countries like "Sudan and Yemen" but I was never given a reason (if there exists any, of course) when I asked why, except for "it is ...
17
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3answers
1k views

Is there a missing definite article before caliph in 'the group's leader, XYZ, as (the) caliph'?

I read news on the BBC (on its website) this morning. When I was reading the news I noticed the definite article the was missing in a sentence. As per my opinion, the reporter missed the article the. ...
38
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4answers
4k views

Why do we not use the definite article in “Where can I find the room 401?”

Last week in college, a student [with a thick South Asian accent] asked me: "Excuse me, where can I find the room 401?". I realized that to my native English ears, the word "the" sounded non-...
54
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3answers
13k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “the”?

The is sometimes pronounced "tha" (/ðə/) or "thi" (/ðiː/). Which is the correct pronunciation of this word? Are both correct and used interchangeably at specific places? If the ...
7
votes
2answers
13k views

“love most” versus “love the most”

I'd like to know if there is something I should know about when making a decision to use/not to use the article with most when it modifies the verb. For example, My main passion are the horses that'...
17
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3answers
8k views

Why do we pronounce “the university” as “thuh university” rather than “thee university”? [duplicate]

English Club says that usually, we pronounce "the" as "thuh", but when it happens to be in front of a vowel sound, then we pronounce it as "thee". Why is "the university" pronounced as "thuh" ...
9
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3answers
14k views

What's the difference between “in winter” and “in the winter”?

Reading an old XKCD comic I found this sentence (you must hover the mouse over the picture to see it): There are probably children out there holding down spacebar to stay warm in the winter! I've ...
9
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5answers
3k views

“police said” - why not “the police said”?

Example with a context (news article: Russian police arrest three after dramatic Moscow shootout): In their last crime, the alleged robbers had grabbed more than 8 million rubles ($146,000) in an ...
7
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1answer
33k views

The confusion between “The” or “A” article

I was reading about articles in Wren & Martin and found the following explanation: 1)Use the definite article when a singular noun is meant to express a whole class. The cow is a useful ...
14
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5answers
975 views

“I was reading posts there” vs. “I was reading the posts there”

This is my post from History Stack Exchange. I was reading posts there and one specific issue interested me. That's why I wrote that post. Should I use the when referring to posts on History SE in ...
8
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3answers
4k views

Question about articles: Why is “before the train came” correct?

Example sentence: I had a little time before the train came. Would you please explain to me why it is correct to use "the" before "train"? My teacher told me that "the" is used before objects well-...
7
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2answers
24k views

Definite article before name of languages

Should I use the definite article before name of languages? (the?) Persian language (the?) German language (the?) Arabic language (the?) Russian language (the?) English language Some language name ...
17
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4answers
1k views

Why “the schoolboy” instead of “a schoolboy” in this sentence?

At the same time, however, Walser’s narrators—especially his schoolboys, and there is something of the schoolboy in all of his narrators—are possessed by a levity that borders on giddiness. (Source). ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Use of the definite article before superlative adjectives

We achieve the best financial outcomes through highest ethical standards according to our Compliance Code, cost controlling, and protecting our assets, environment, and people. Is it correct to ...
7
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2answers
7k views

Using the definite article with comparatives and superlatives, for example “the sooner the better”

I would like to know the meaning of structures concerning the definite article "the"-"the"+comparative or superlative adjective(adverb) structures- to be more specific, these ones: the more...the ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

earth; the earth

"Welcome. You've come to Earth." (The Writer’s Almanac) There seems to be a definite article or not in front of earth in dictionaries. For which meaning, there isn’t one in the example? For what ...
4
votes
1answer
9k views

Using article “the” with famous places?

I'm editing a children's book about wonders of the World. In this book, the authors are not native speakers(they are XACT BOOK(India)), and they wrote these specific places without article "the": -...
13
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3answers
25k views

“A first time” or “the first time”

I am not sure what difference there is between This is the first time I've lost my passport. This is a first time I've lost my passport. Would appreciate your explanation.
11
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3answers
3k views

Curious use of the definite article with body parts in dictionary definitions

I've come across the following definition of plectrum in the Oxford Dictionary of English, which can be found at https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/plectrum: A thin flat piece of plastic, ...
6
votes
4answers
17k views

the dinner vs. dinner (grammar question)

From the sitcom Seinfeld (episode The Couch): KRAMER: (scanning a menu) So, how was the dinner last night? JERRY: Oh, well… KRAMER: Did you enjoy the duck? (Elaine comes over…) Oh, Elaine! I ...
4
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2answers
8k views

“She's the author of” or “She's author of”? - which one is correct?

What's the difference in the usage of the article "the" with the word "author"? Why is the article "the" left in the second sentence? She's the author of "The Power of Glamour," "The Future and Its ...
17
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3answers
3k views

Why is the definite article used in “I live in the city”?

Where do you live? -- I live in the city. THE is used when talking about something which is already known to the listener or which has been previously mentioned, introduced, or discussed. But, the ...
7
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1answer
3k views

Use of 'the' before of-phrases

When is it necessary to use 'the' before the words preceding of-phrases? I've also noticed in some sentences that there is no 'the' before the words preceding of-phrases. When should we not use the ...
6
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3answers
15k views

on television vs. on the television

Example with a context: That, I think, is the most likely circumstance for Putin's departure. It's not that he'll lose an election—it's that a bunch of men in gray suits are going to file into his ...
6
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3answers
622 views

“the top levels of government” — why not “of THE government”?

Example taken from: Russia questions five suspects over Nemtsov killing: However no information has emerged as to the possible motive the men could have had in killing the charismatic opposition ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Why do you say “to the movies”

What structures do stand behind the expression the movies (we're going to the movies)? It confuses me that it is plural (movies) and with the definite article (the). It seems that in the same way you ...
5
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3answers
1k views

“.. getting away to the beach with the family” - why not “..to a beach with the family”?

The types of vacations that people take nowadays are very different from vacations taken in years gone by. I guess the main change has been the shift from domestic vacations to vacations overseas. In ...
4
votes
2answers
20k views

What's the difference between “go”, “go to”, and “go to the”?

I want to apply for a job in the US in one or two years and now I'm trying to learn English grammar. I remember that I once read in a book the following sentences: I'm going home. I'm going to school....
63
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7answers
17k views

“Wow, what a car!” - Is it okay if I say 'Wow, what the car!"

I have been struggling with articles for quite a long time. Most of the times, I understand but then the more I understand them, the more it's getting perplexed! For this particular question, I'm ...
5
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2answers
6k views

Using 'most': with or without 'the'?

I thought we need "the" before the word most. Such as in: She is the most beautiful girl. But, I came across this sentence: Most incredible is how many Islamic scholars have popped up over ...
6
votes
2answers
678 views

With or without 'the' in “in (the) present participle form”?

Consider the two following extracts: [...], which precedes the main verb in the present participle form, working. –The Teacher's Grammar of English with Answers: A Course Book and Reference Guide ...
6
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2answers
46k views

“in the morning” vs. “in morning”

I messaged you in the morning. I messaged you in morning. I am confused which sentence is correct. I think both are correct, but please help me out and tell me which sentence is grammatically ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

“The following” vs. “Following”

I wrote "Following examples show ..." and my colleague revised it as "The following examples show ..." Why do we need "the" here even though the examples have not been mentioned before?
4
votes
2answers
675 views

should there be a definite article before “eye level”? (a quote from Salinger)

From Salinger's Zooey: There were scars much nearer to eye level, too, from a rather awesome variety of airborne objects—beanbags, baseballs, marbles, skate keys, soap erasers, and ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

the sentence “Does king Gorge go there every day” should have an article?

If I want to ask about a custom of someone and I mentions is name, do I need to add an article? For example: "Does (the?) king Gorge go there every day"
12
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6answers
7k views

(The?) Lions in the zoo are very aggressive [duplicate]

We use a plural count noun with no article if we mean all or any of that thing. For example: Lions are very aggressive. I don't like lions. We only use the with general ...
6
votes
1answer
13k views

play the guitar vs play guitar

I was taught that when we want to say "produce sound on a musical instrument", we should always use the definite article before the instrument ("play the guitar/piano/violin"). I did research on this,...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

“We have a game today” vs. “We have the game today”

When I tell people about the football/baseball/soccer/basketball game they are supposed to have today, I say We have a game today. which I think is strange. It is strange that it sounds idiomatic ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Which is correct, “The carpenter repaired the legs of the tables” or “The carpenter repaired legs of the tables”

The carpenter repaired the legs of the tables. The carpenter repaired legs of the tables. It's a quiz from my grammar book(written in Chinese), and it claims the legs of the tables is correct ...
4
votes
3answers
15k views

“What was best” vs “what was the best”?

Do both have the same meaning? Or they are subtly different? Example sentence: What was (the) best? To go left or right, up or down? In an answer on englishforums.com it says that both are exactly ...
0
votes
2answers
178 views

Can adjectives make a noun definite?

If we use an adjective for a countable object so it makes it specific, then can we use "the" before it? For example to me "the green color" or "green", means "the color that is green among the known ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Is the “the … the …” construction governed by some grammatical rule?

a) The more I study, the less I learn. b) More I study, less I learn. Could we rewrite the sentence shown under the letter a) in the form shown under the letter b) without breaking any grammatical ...
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Using “the” instead of “a” for something that isn't a specific object

I've been curious about this for a while. Generally, one uses "the" if they mean a specific object ("The copy of Lord of the Rings I bought yesterday") instead of any object that fits a description ("...
2
votes
1answer
230 views

The definite and zero article with the word “civilization”

Tell me please why the is not used in the first following sentence and is used in the second one. Ancient egyptian civilization existed for a long time. The Inca civilization flourished for a ...
2
votes
3answers
180 views

Why say “student life” and not “the student life”?

The Culture subsection of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary's entry for "campus" begins with The popular image of student life is of young people with few responsibilities enjoying ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

“we write expressions in infix form” - why not “we write expressions in the infix form”?

From Real World Haskell: We can immediately start entering expressions, to see what ghci will do with them. Basic arithmetic works similarly to languages like C and Python: we write expressions in ...
2
votes
3answers
187 views

(The|A) stor(y|ies) about James and Susie?

This question may seem too basic, but after reading through 3 grammar and usage guides, I still can't find the sufficient information on this distinction. Consider these phrases with their different ...