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Definite Article THE | Useful Rules & Examples in English

Definite Article THE | Useful Rules & Examples in English

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What is a Definite Article THE in English and how to use it? Below is clear explanations about this common article.

An article is a word that combines with a noun. Articles are actually adjectives because they describe the nouns that they precede. In English, there are only three articles: thea, and an (definite and indefinite articles). However, the three are not interchangeable; rather, they are used in specific instances. This lesson will provide the definition, useful rules and examples of the definite article “The”.

Definite Article THE


“The” is an English definite article, which is used before a noun to indicate that the noun refers to a specific person, place, thing, or idea.

For example, “the cat,” “the city,” “the book,” etc.


#1. Use “the” after you have talked about it the first time.

After a noun has been introduced and referred to, “the” can be used to refer to it again. Here is an example:

  • The cat is sleeping on the couch. Its fur is soft and fluffy. The cat is purring contentedly.

In this example, “the cat” is introduced in the first sentence and referred to using “the” in the following sentences, indicating that we are still referring to the same specific cat that was introduced earlier. This use of “the” helps to maintain continuity and avoid confusion in the conversation or writing.

More examples:

  • The movie we watched last night was very interesting. The director did an excellent job.
  • The city of Paris is known for its beauty and cultural heritage. The Eiffel Tower is one of its most iconic landmarks.
  • The chef at the restaurant prepares delicious meals. The dessert menu is especially noteworthy.

#2. Use “the” when the person you are talking to already knows what you are talking about.

When the listener already knows what the speaker is referring to, “the” can be used to indicate this shared understanding. Here is an example:

  • Lily: I saw a movie yesterday.
  • Sam: Oh really? What movie did you see?
  • Lily: The movie with the superhero.

In this example, Person 1 uses “the movie with the superhero” to refer to a specific movie that both they and Person 2 know about. The use of “the” indicates that both parties have a shared understanding of what is being referred to.

More examples:

Conversation 1:

  • Anna: I bought a new car last weekend.
  • Sarah 2: Oh really? What kind of car did you buy?
  • Anna: The red one.

Conversation 2:

  • Peter: I’m going to visit my friend today.
  • David: Oh, who are you visiting?
  • Peter: The one who lives in the apartment building.

Conversation 3:

  • John: I’m reading a good book right now.
  • Neo: Oh really? What book are you reading?
  • John: The one I told you about last week.

#3. Use “the” when you talk about general places in nature like the lake, the mountains, the ocean, the beach, etc. 

When referring to general places in nature, such as lakes, mountains, oceans, beaches, etc., “the” is often used. Here are some examples:

  • I love going to the beach and swimming in the ocean.
  • The lake in the park is surrounded by tall trees.
  • The mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for the town.
  • I prefer to hike in the mountains rather than on flat land.
  • The ocean is always calming and peaceful.

In these examples, “the” is used before the nouns “beach,” “ocean,” “lake,” “mountains,” and “ocean,” indicating that they are general, recognizable places in nature.

More examples:

  • Let’s go to the beach.
  • I love to camp in the mountains.
  • The forest is a great place for camping and exploring nature.
  • I love to go fishing by the river.
  • The desert can be a harsh environment, but it’s also incredibly beautiful.
  • The waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.

#4. Use “the” when you are talking about something that there is only one of and everyone knows about it. The sky, the earth, the stars (as a group).

For example:

  • How many people are there on the Earth?
  • The sky is so beautiful today.
  • The sky is blue today.
  • The earth is the third planet from the sun.
  • The stars are beautiful to look at on a clear night.
  • The moon is one of the most recognizable celestial bodies in the sky.
  • The sun is the closest star to the earth.
  • The universe is vast and contains an untold number of stars, planets, and galaxies.

Definite Article THE | Infographics

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Friday 27th of May 2022

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