Questions tagged [definite-article]

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

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2answers
294 views

Usage of articles

I'm studying English with Murphy's Grammar in use and I'm puzzled with something. I have this exercise where I have to put in the right preposition. But it's not the problem. All objects on these ...
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2answers
721 views

“The English grammar” or “English grammar”

Should we use definite article (the) before "English grammar". Please tell me which sentence is perfect: Tenses in the English grammar. Tenses in English grammar.
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1answer
19k views

Using the word “the” with a university name

Should I add the word "the" before mentioning a university? I am a student at the University of ... or I am a student at University of ....
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1answer
612 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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4answers
193 views

Definite article before “geeky people”

Here’s what one of the characters says in s14e16 of The Simpsons: For astronomers like me this is a bigger problem even than I don't know, say, getting a date which is difficult for the geeky ...
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4answers
4k views

Why is the word *the* necessary?

Why do I have to use the in following phrase? What are the problems .... For example What are the problems John is facing while riding a bike? What are the problems Smith is facing while ...
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5answers
474 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 ...
5
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1answer
104 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 ...
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2answers
591 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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4answers
170 views

Which article to use in “I demand [a/the/] video of this birthday”

I want to ask a friend for a video of her daughter's birthday, so what should I put after demand below? I demand the video of this birthday. I demand video of this birthday. I demand a video ...
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5answers
152k 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?
3
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2answers
218 views

'The' with noun expressions containing personal names

It is often not clear whether to use the definite article when a personal name is used. Tolstoy's books. — It is John's property. — Somewhere in Steinbeck country. but... The ...
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2answers
102 views

Is it “a book from a (or) the course”?

A: What is that book you are reading? B: Just a book from (a/the) course. The situation is a friend of mine saw me reading something and I just want to state that it was just one of the books ...
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2answers
3k views

The usage of the articles 'a' and 'the' for describing natural things

Putting the proper article before a noun is really complex. To be frank, I'm still learning this! I don't remember the source, but I had read somewhere that even students of English Literature make ...
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1answer
4k views

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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4answers
8k views

Which is grammatically correct, “my name is John” or “the name is John”?

My name is John. The name is John. Which of the above sentences is grammatically correct? If both are, which is preferable and why?
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2answers
431 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

usage of articles: definite article or zero article?

The Chinese invented the paper The Chinese invented paper I can't decide which article we get before paper — zero article or the. Are we talking about paper in general (so zero article is used ...
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1answer
98 views

“In” versus “at”

I'm confused about when to use in and when to use at. Here's an example of a phrase I use in email communication: Please find the daily report at attachment. Is "at attachment" correct, or ...
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1answer
766 views

Specific zero article question

"during the working hours" OR "during working hours" "during the working days" OR "during working days" Which is correct? If both are correct, which one is more desirable? My reasoning is that ...
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2answers
1k views

usage of THE with the plural subject (or noun)

I have following construction. Table 4 shows the parameters used by the filtering approach. The parameters are determined by the knowledge about the data and landscape. I want to clarify, ...
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1answer
546 views

definite article referring to industries

When talking about an industry, is the definite article needed? Does it need two definite articles if referring two industries? Road transport development benefits the e-business industry. The e-...
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2answers
3k views

“a last chance” or “the last chance”

My question seems to be simple at first sight, but it is confusing for me. I feel that "the last chance" means the kind of chance which ends any other chances, while "a last chance" is like one of ...
2
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1answer
141 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
62k views

“The opposite of” vs. “opposite to”

Small is the opposite of big. Small is opposite to big. Is the second statement grammatical? It sounds okay to me, but only if I leave out the the.
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4answers
907 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
41k views

“take the day off” vs “take a day off”

In an English grammar book I saw two sentences: Tim isn't working hard today. He's taken the day off. Although it is ridiculous to argue with a grammar book :) in this case I would suggest using ...
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3answers
15k 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.
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4answers
382 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
11k views

at the age of… vs. at an age of

A quote from The Guardian: For it is mercilessly clear that when Porter died last year at the age of 55, he was at the height of his powers. Should the definite article always be used when a ...
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1answer
34 views

companies that mapped (the, 0) shale reserves

A quote from the Economist ("The Father of Fracking") His company counted on support from various government agencies, including those that mapped the shale reserves (demonstrating that they ...
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1answer
82 views

Exxon and (∅, the) other oil majors

A quote from The Economist: Yet Exxon and the other oil supermajors are more vulnerable than they look. What if we insert a zero article in THE's position before the "other": Yet Exxon and ...
0
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1answer
197 views

Indefinite interviewers and mostly definite children

An excerpt from The Economist's article on bedtime regime's correlation with IQ scores. Here I've committed two kinds of mismatches, putting THE before the second mention of "interviewers" and ...
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3answers
148 views

Shrubs, weeds and raccoons have reclaimed (the) empty neighbourhoods

From The Economist's article on Detroit's doldrums: Detroit’s population has fallen by 60% since 1950. ... Shrubs, weeds and raccoons have reclaimed empty neighbourhoods. Would it be acceptable ...
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1answer
128 views

Advertising propelled (the) radio

A quote from The Economist (Higher education: The attack of the MOOCs): “Ads propelled radio and TV, why not education? There is a lot of misplaced snobbery in education about advertising,” says ...
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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 ...
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2answers
42k views

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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1answer
189 views

“Don't let dog out” vs “don't let the dog out”

Don't let dog out. Don't let the dog out. Are those sentences both valid, or is only the latter a valid one? Is the needed for non-proper nouns? Is "Don't let Mike out." valid?
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2answers
18k 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 ...
7
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2answers
5k 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'...
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 ...
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2answers
743 views

Does omitting the definite article before a plural noun make the sentence more generic?

Does omitting the article in "The phones ring every six minutes." make the sentence more abstract? For example, if I were to speak about the phones in my workplace, I could say "The phones ring every ...
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1answer
1k views

“the” with knowledge

Can I use article “the” with the word “knowledge” as shown in following 2 cases: XX, (20005) use the knowledge about the human body for the segmenting of anatomical structures from medical image. ...
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1answer
103 views

Should an article be added before “federal government revenues”?

The federal government revenues are continuing to fall. (Aussie ABC News, 0:03~0:06) It seems the is said by the news presenter; yet, I am not so sure the script uses articles. Does the sentence ...
4
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1answer
161 views

Some rules for using “the” and “a”

Is there any particular reason for using the or a? Is there any specific rule applied? When the is omitted, what should I notice instead of the generic noun? For example, what is the difference in ...
12
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1answer
5k views

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.
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2answers
151 views

Which article should I use when referring to a program function's argument?

Let's say I'm documenting a library function that (for example) accepts a number and returns the number squared. Should I write This function squares the given number. or This function squares ...
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4answers
14k 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. ...
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2answers
4k views

“Start a day” versus “start the day”

When you talk about any day in general, which article would you prefer in the expression "start a/the day." Can you please explain the logic behind your choice? I searched for some context in the ...
4
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2answers
367 views

Does “Magna Carta” take the definite article?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta "Constitutionally, the Magna Carta of Edward I is the most important". This version remains in Statute today (albeit with ... Does "Magna Carta" take the ...