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Questions tagged [definite-article]

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

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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 ...
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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?
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3answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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. ...
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4answers
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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-...
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2answers
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“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'...
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“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
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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 ...
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3answers
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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-...
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4answers
844 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. (...
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884 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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": -...
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5answers
869 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 ...
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“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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
814 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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“.. 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 ...
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2answers
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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....
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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 ...
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What is the difference between “an answer” and “the answer”?

I've run into one of those cases again where both the definite and indefinite article seem to work. And that makes me very confused as it makes it harder for me to grasp the concept of the articles. ...
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2answers
567 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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(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 ...
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2answers
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“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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
115 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
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1answer
137 views

“the” vs. “a/an” + clauses

Here's the situation: I meet a friend and I tell her about yesterday: “Hey, John!” “Hi, Sarah!” “How was yesterday's trip?” “It was great. Karl took me to the countryside to show me his new ...
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3answers
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“it is *the* exception” means one and only exception?

– You can't cast aspersions on someone just because they're wearing a cape. Superman wore a cape! – OK, Superman is the exception. Does the here convey the meaning that it is the ...
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2answers
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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"
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“the legs of the table” vs “the table's legs”

I got this quiz: The carpenter repaired __ . (A) the table's legs (B) table's legs (C) legs of the table (D) the legs of the table ...which says the right answer is D. But I ...
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What pronoun should i use if i want to indicate something in general

When I want to use “the” definite article to refer to things in general like: The cow is a useful animal; pronoun ... The doctor works in hospital; pronoun ... The lion is the king of the ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Can I omit “the” in this sentence?

Dan has already given you a sense of the dramatic change that occurred between the '20s and the '30s. Can I omit the second highlighted the in this sentence? I know there is a thing called ellipsis, ...
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1answer
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I want to get rid of 'article' confusion once and for all!

I know there are innumerable questions about 'articles' on this and other sites on the Internet. I always try to learn them but some or the other way, they play tricks on me. In other words, I am ...
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4answers
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psychologist John Hayes (THE, zero article before false titles)

An example (from The New Yorker) of a phrase with a false title (psychologist John Hayes): After Simon and Chase’s paper, for example, the psychologist John Hayes looked at seventy-six famous ...
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1answer
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The use of the definite article in “The two men appeared out of nowhere”

The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. -Chapter 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: The Dark Lord According to this web site, English native ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
283 views

Omitting the article before defining relative clause

We use the definite article before defining a relative clause when we mean specific instances— this is a well-known rule. What if we omit an article in order to say something in a more general way, ...
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2answers
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Do you have a / the time?

I am trying to cope with the ever increasing trend of new phrases in English language and found something. I have heard many a times people use "Do you have a/the time?" In reply, either we say "Yes/...
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5answers
408 views

Under what circumstances does a proper noun (of a person) take the definite article 'the'?

I wonder whether using the article 'the' is proper putting before a proper noun. I have heard this from many especially when they react with utter surprise. For instance, "Hey, do you know, while ...
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1answer
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The nuance of understanding the usage of the definite and indefinite article with the word 'FINAL'

Using the indefinite article a with the word final has always confused me. I mean how come something that is final can be considered indefinite! When it's final, it's definitely final, isn't it? An ...
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1answer
583 views

What is this “the”?

Chief among these motives was the overwhelming idea of the great whale himself. Such a portentous and mysterious monster roused all my curiosity. Then the wild and distant seas where he rolled his ...
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Why is there a definite article in the idiom “adding fuel to the fire”?

"adding fuel to the fire" Should there be no articles in this idiom? Can someone give an explanation as to why there is one?