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Questions tagged [definite-article]

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

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“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 ...
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3answers
7k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “the”?

The is sometimes pronounced "tha" or "thi". Which is the correct pronunciation of this word? Are both correct and used interchangeably at specific places? If the second question is correct, please ...
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5answers
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“The Jesus who said” - why is there a definite article before the proper name “Jesus”?

The system doesn't seem to be providing for the well-being of all the people, and that's what makes it, almost in its very nature, something contrary to the Jesus who said, "Blessed are the poor. Woe ...
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4answers
2k 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-...
26
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3answers
1k 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 ...
26
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1answer
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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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5answers
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“I don't have the time to cook” or “I don't have time to cook”?

Should I say: I do not have the time. Or I do not have time. Which option is the correct one? If both are correct, is there any difference in meaning or other difference between them?
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2answers
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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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4answers
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“the wife” instead of “my wife”, are there any other contexts where a possessive pronoun gets replaced by a definite article?

In English, one occasionally sees a replacement of my wife by the wife, such as in this sentence: there was a sudden thud and I joked to the wife that someone had run into us Does this ...
20
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5answers
125k views

Which one is correct, “in the USA” or “in USA”?

I want to know, what are the differences between "in the USA" and "in USA"? When to use "the" before a nation's name?
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7answers
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Why does “money” take “the” in “all the money in the world”?

"All the money in the world " , in this sentence we talk about money in general , right ? I've read a book that says if we're talking about things in general we do not use "the". So why "the money" ?
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3answers
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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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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. ...
16
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6answers
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Is it not correct to say “I have the brown eyes” instead of “I have brown eyes”, and why?

I encountered the following sentence in a Duolingo course (and there are no other sentences): I have brown eyes. However, I was told that "I have the brown eyes." is not correct here. I don't ...
16
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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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2answers
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Why is there the indefinite article in: “a Victorian 23 knots”?

I've recently watched Top Gear and one of the presenters said there: ...In fact, I was only doing a Victorian 23 knots. Why did he use the indefinite article when the noun is in the plural? And what ...
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3answers
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Why is there no definite article in “The first rule of fight club” before the last noun?

I've just read Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club", and I wonder why there are no definite article in his first rule of fight club definition? "The first rule of _ fight club is you don't talk about _ ...
14
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3answers
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Article Confusion Again! Why is there an 'a' instead of a 'the'?

Articles give me a lot of pain! Here is the latest one. From the Yahoo! News page - Have you seen Facebook posts claiming to link to a video message that actor Robin Williams made before his death ...
14
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1answer
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(The) Putin's ratings shot up. Is the definite article allowed here?

In a sentence where the definite article precedes someone's name, as in this example: The war campaign has boosted the Putin's ratings. could the definite article be used? Would the above example ...
14
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4answers
7k 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 ...
14
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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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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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5answers
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“The” vs “that”

I understand that "the" and "that" are both used to refer to a specific subject or object. But are there general rules of thumb to explain when we should use "the" and when we should use "that"? ...
12
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3answers
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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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3answers
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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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1answer
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Is it 'cold to touch' or 'cold to the touch'?

Do you need the article 'the' in the following sentence. Please explain. The gun felt cold to touch. The gun felt cold to the touch.
11
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2answers
2k views

“in US English” vs “in the US English”

I saw a usage of "in US English" in a dictionary, which I think it should be "in the US English" instead. The reason is that the full version should be "the United States" and not "United States". I'm ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Am I overusing “the” in this sentence?

For some reason I feel its overkilling on the use of article(the) here, To refine the results, please use the categories on the left Can someone help?
11
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6answers
1k views

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?
11
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4answers
1k views

If we remove 'the' in “Gone with the Wind”

I was talking to a native speaker some time ago, she was a young adult. And when I mentioned the movie Gone with the Wind, she corrected me, saying that the right title was Gone with Wind. But we know ...
11
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2answers
3k views

A doctor VS. the doctor ?

I often watch in movies saying: I am going to see the doctor. Instead of saying “a doctor”. So I keep asking myself, “which doctor is meant? Because he didn’t mention any doctor before ...
11
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1answer
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What is this case of using “the” in front of a noun?

As I have been taught, apart from being a part of a name, the definite article in English is usually used for: 1) things that have already been mentioned earlier in conversation (like in "So you did ...
11
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2answers
388 views

Use of the definite article in “America the Beautiful”

How do we explain using the definite article for adjectives in "the beautiful"? Is it possible in Poetry? or is it possible in titling as in newspapers if I am not mistaken? I think it is equivalent ...
11
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4answers
10k views

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. ...
11
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4answers
368 views

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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2answers
757 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 ...
11
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3answers
999 views

Omission of definite article in Indian English

Prompted by comments against a previous ELL question about an Indian English usage, I found myself reading an article in The Times of India with the title Kidnapped doctor couple returns home, which ...
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3answers
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Using “the” with names of functions, variables, constants in computer literature

When I write computer-related text and want to refer to something (a variable, a function, etc.) that has a unique name, should I add “the” before the name? For example: “Here I call the printf ...
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2answers
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Why do you say, “see A doctor”, but “ go to The doctor”?

I've been wondering for a long time why textbooks say, "see a doctor", but "go to the doctor". What's the difference between "a doctor" and "the doctor". When I go to my usual doctor, should I say,...
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2answers
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We seldom had the ____________ to get out for an evening in town

Which option fits best in the following question.I cannot see any difference in meaning. We seldom had the ____________ to get out for an evening in town. a. opportunity b. permission
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2answers
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“In English literature” or “In the English literature”?

Do we ever say, "In the English literature" ? Is it correct? For example: "Hamlet" is a classic play in the English literature. or "Hamlet" is a classic play in English literature.
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3answers
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“… is called Minkowski space” or “is called the Minkowski space” and WHY?

I met both constructions in quite respectable texts. Is it a matter of taste, or of a shade of meaning?
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5answers
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“I like the USA” or “I like USA”? [duplicate]

Use the if the country’s name includes a common noun. I know that we have to use "the" in front of some countries and USA is one of them. But it sounds odd to say "I like the USA". Please tell me ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Why some countable nouns treated as uncountable?

since the inception of the iPod we have seen numerous audio formats come to market yet only a select few of them have been adopted on a mass scale. (Source: What is the best audio format? - ...
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1answer
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Why it is 'an' SEO but the abbrevation is 'a' Search Engine Optimizer?

The article for SEO is 'an' ie. 'an SEO' but Search Engine Optimizer ( Abbreviation of SEO ) is called as 'a Search Engine Optimizer'. Why do these variations?
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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Why there is no article in 'I was out of town'

I have heard "Out of town" idiom when people say that they were away. I wonder why there is no indefinite or definite article before the word 'town'? IMO, it should be the definite article because ...
9
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2answers
5k views

the flu VS a flu

Here's the situation: I have a flu. vs I have the flu. I saw some lesson on website about the vocabulary of illnesses. Illnesses that use the article -the: 1.flu 2.hiccups 3....
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2answers
2k views

Why do we use “the” with non-specific noun?

It seems like there are so many exceptions for articles. Example sentences: I don't like going to the theater. I prefer going to the cinema. I feel like it is not specific but why do we use "the" ...
9
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2answers
148 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 ("...