76

The has two pronunciations: "thuh" /ðə/ and "thee" /ði/. While in a few dialects the rules are less well-defined, in most British and American dialects you say "thuh" when it precedes a consonant sound. The(thuh) person /ðə pɜ:sən/ The(thuh) university /ðə ju:nɪvɜ:sɪti/ But you say "thee" when it precedes a vowel. The(thee) apple /ði æpl/ The(thee) ...


64

The definite article is not used in this expression. When we assign an entity membership in a class we use the indefinite article, regardless of how ‘determinate’ the entity is, because it is not the only member of the class. For instance, we ordinarily say “I own a ’57 Chevy”—that is, “The car I own belongs to the class ’57 Chevy”. You own only one car, ...


63

When a person has said many things over the course of their life, those statements may not always be perfectly consonant with one another. Using the definite article the is an acknowledgement of that dissonance or lack of agreement between one statement and another: Where's the President Trump who promised a middle-class tax break? It's as if to say ...


51

In English, the pronunciation of the is based on the sound of the following letter, not which letter it's written with. University is pronounced with a "y" or [j] in IPA, which in English acts as a consonant at the beginning of a word. In some languages [j] acts as a vowel, but not in English. Therefore, "thuh".


45

Typically, when we say something is beautiful, we would not use a definite article if we are talking about an abstract noun: Patience is beautiful. Courage is beautiful. Compassion is beautiful. Life is beautiful. Adding a definite article to any of those sentences would sound "off". However, if we somehow qualify the noun, we can use the definite ...


40

No. When "US", "UK", "UN", "UAE" etc are used as nouns, they have the definite article "the" preceding them. We are going to the US next week. The UK held a referendum on EU membership. The issue will be raised at the UN. However, when they are used attributively, as though they were adjectives, there is no article. UK law prohibits ...


40

Of course in most contexts we use a to refer to a generic, non-specific example of some class (or the first mention of a specific member of that class), and the to refer to a specific previously-mentioned member of that class. This is not the case here. In this usage, both a and the can be used to describe an exemplary peasant, taking some random peasant in ...


37

Both are fine and seem to be widely used. To me, "don't have the time" implies a long-term situation, whereas "don't have time" could be more temporary. For example, "My life is so busy that I don't have the time to cook" versus "Tonight I'm going to a concert so I won't have time to cook."


33

"Why there's no definite article in “The first rule of fight club” before the last noun?" You mean, why does it not say "The first rule of the fight club...."? The answer is simple - "Fight Club" is a noun. It is the name of the club. Let's say for example that there was a swimming club called "Swim Club". You may refer to this either as: Swim Club, or ...


30

What the hell? What a headache! No, you can't use the definite article in this context. What a great example of why that oft-quoted rule – the definite article 'the' is used for the one and only – trips people up from time to time. In reality, when to use "a" vs. when to use "the" runs much deeper than that. The key here is the way what is used in ...


29

You should not use the in The war campaign has shot up Putin's ratings. Yes, the noun "ratings" is definite, but it already has a word that indicates whose ratings they are: Putin's ratings. You may think of it as The war campaign has shot up his ratings. Words like "his, her, their" are called "possessive determiners". The definite article "the" ...


28

Though both StoneyB's answer and FumbleFinger's comment have already discussed the four "the"s in your question, I would like to provide additional information about articles, in hope that it'd be useful. Using articles properly is difficult for learners, especially the learners who speak languages that do not have articles. Thus, it's very useful for these ...


28

Yes, your rewrite is acceptable. As for your confusion, it looks like you might have a case of DAMS (Definite Article Meaning Syndrome, a relatively common affliction that often affects English learners. It's chief symptom is confusion, generally caused by the erroneous belief that definite articles are only used for things previously referred to and ...


28

"Literature" is a noncount abstract noun. When we use such nouns generically, to describe "literature in general", we usually don't use the definite article. He is studying literature. We also usually don't use the definite article if the noncount abstract noun is pre-modified (has a describing word before it): He is studying English literature. If ...


27

Eyes is a "plural count noun" and in this case we are talking about your eyes generally, rather than specifically. As a result, you can omit the the. See Rule #3 here: All things or things in general: Use no article with plural count nouns or any noncount nouns used to mean all or in general. In the case of your other example: I have the brown eyes ...


27

In your example sentence you are referring to the cold weather experienced in a particular country. The definite article would not be necessary if you were speaking of cold weather in general. I don't mind the snow. I'm used to cold weather.


25

Lions in the zoo are very aggressive Can be paraphrased: When lions are put in a zoo they become aggressive. You are stating a general fact about lions in zoos everywhere. "in the zoo" need not refer to a particular zoo, just as "in the hospital" need not refer to a particular hospital. "in the zoo" there can be paraphrased as in captivity. If you want ...


25

In additional to Whiskeychief's excellent answer which covers the standard case perfectly ... There is a relatively unusual class of uses where "the" is required, and that is where there is a particular instance, normally one which is previously referenced. Q: What do you think of a banker's life? A: The life is awful but the rewards are high. Q: What do ...


24

In my opinion, the phrases: 'the results' - refers to the specific results that will be refined; 'the categories', - refers to the specific (provided) categories; and, 'the left' - refers to the specific side (i.e., not the right side, not the top, etc.). So, I don't think the word 'the' is overused.


24

A Victorian 23 knots means "23 knots, which is a speed you would have expected in the Victorian era"—that is, during the reign of Queen Victoria, 1837-1901.


24

If you want to look at an example of this, I suggest looking up Aesop's fables. They are relatively short, are easy to find online for free, and most of them feature animals as the characters. Throughout the story, each animal is referred to as "the [animal]" numerous times, and it sounds natural. If the animal is described using "a/an" ...


23

This sentence is not talking about money in general. It is talking about a specific set: "all the money in the world", as if it was a specific quantity you could receive: Suppose I gave you a box with all the money in the world. How would you choose to distribute it? Other examples talking about a specific set of money: Do you still have the money I ...


23

If the bookstore you own has only one owner (you), then, "I am the owner of a bookstore." is correct. If there are other owners of that bookstore (i.e. you are a co-owner), then you should say, "I am an owner of a bookstore." The indefinite article, "a" is for one among other(s), and the definite article "the" is for naming one when there are no others.


22

"Do you have the time?" would be used to ask what time it is currently. "Do you have time?" would be used to ask if the person has time in their schedule. To the best of my knowledge "Do you have a time?" is not used at all, at least in standard American English. It can however be used as a phrase in a larger question (as graciously pointed out by J.R.). An ...


22

It's a and not the because the phrase is part of an attributive clause describing scammers. Here, looking to make a quick buck off the tragic death of a beloved entertainer tells us what type of people the scammers are. It's very likely that, to them, the important bit is that this person is someone famous, not that it's Robin Williams specifically. They ...


22

At a very basic level, that is the verbal counterpart to pointing at something in order to focus another person's attention on it in particular, so that the person does not mistake something else similar to it for it, or so that the person understands that the one being pointed at is different from others which may seem similar to it. If you win a stuffed ...


21

This is the use of the for "the prototype", "the abstract", "X-s in general". We see it also in the phrase that used to be common in the middle of the last century "splitting the atom". It used to be more common that it is now - it has particularly gone out of fashion for talking about animals and people - The elephant is a quadruped with a long trunk ...


21

"get used to cold weather" means to get used to cold weather in general. Without "the", the sentence means that after living in that country you won't be as bothered by cold weather. "get used to the cold weather" is more specific about the type of cold weather that exists in this country. The country might have particular ...


20

The other answers may actually say this, but they are long and convoluted, and I don't see this in either of them.  So I'll just say it: You don't use an article when you're using a name. Cases where an article is part of the name, like The Hague, The White House, The Lord of the Rings, or An American in Paris, appear to be exceptions, but aren't, really....


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