Definite Article THE as Determiner



Definite Article THE as Determiner :




  1. THE is used for mentioning a particular thing either because you already know which one is being talked about or because only one exists.

    1. We have a cat and a dog. The cat is black. The dog is white.
    2. Please take these letters to the post office. (It is understood, that you know the post office and where it is.)
    3. The sky is blue.
    4. The sun is shining. (There is only one Sun)
    5. The Queen of Britain is Elizabeth II. (There is only one queen)
    6. She sailed across the Atlantic in a small boat.
    7. She hit him on the ear. (The particular place)


  2. THE is used before an adjective to make it into a noun.

    1. How can we help the old, the poor and the disabled?
    2. The Chinese have taken to drinking. (The Chinese : The Chinese people)
    3. It is to do the impossible.
    4. The Guilty will be punished.
    5. The accused was brought into the court.
    6. The accused were brought into the court.


  3. THE is used before a singular noun to make it general.

    The tiger is a wild animal. (Tigers are wild animals)


  4. THE is used before words for human activities, especially musical, but usually not including sports.

    1. He is studying the law.
    2. I am learning the piano (learning to play pianos).
    3. My wife plays the violin.

    Note : She plays tennis.


  5. THE is used often with strong pronunciation, for showing that the following noun is best, best-known, most approved, most important and most wanted.

    1. This is the life for me. (This is what I enjoy doing most.)
    2. You cannot be the Savithri.


  6. THE is used before names of measures each.

    1. This cloth is sold by the metre.
    2. We are paid by the hour.
    3. These oranges are rupees ten the dozen.


  7. THE is used before a noun that stands for the activity connected with it.

    1. She took to the bottle. (She began drinking a lot of alcohol).
    2. There is a campaign to bring back the electric chair. (the system of punishing people by death in an electric chair)


  8. THE is used before the plural of 20, 30, 40, 50, etc.

    1. In the 50’s there was a lot of unemployment in India.


  9. THE is used before a noun, especially in negative to show an amount or degree needed for a purpose - enough.

    1. I haven't the time to talk to you just now.
    2. She didn’t have the common sense to send for the doctor.


  10. THE is used in comparisons to show that two things happen together.

    1. The more he eats, the merrier he becomes.
    2. When do you want this done? The sooner…the better.
    3. The more they get, the more they want.


  11. THE is used for showing that someone or something is more than any other.

    1. She likes you the best.
    2. I have the greatest difficulty understanding my wife.


  12. THE is used when a singular noun is meant to represent a whole class.

    1. The cat loves comfort. (Cats love comfort.)


  13. THE is used with names of gulfs, rivers, seas, oceans, groups of islands and mountain ranges.

    1. The Persian Gulf
    2. The Panama Canal
    3. The Ganges
    4. The Thames
    5. The Pacific Ocean
    6. The British Islands
    7. The Laccadive Islands
    8. The Andamans and Nicobar
    9. The Himalayas
    10. The Alps
    11. The Vindhyas
    12. The Punjab
    13. The Andhra Pradesh
    14. The Karnatic


  14. THE is used before the Names of certain books (classics)

    1. The Vedas
    2. The Ramayana
    3. The Mahabharatha
    4. The Iliad
    5. The Puranas
    6. The Bible

    (But, Note Vyasa Bharatham & Homer's Iliad)


  15. THE is used before common nouns which are names of things - unique of their kind.

    1. The Sun
    2. The sky
    3. The ocean
    4. The sea
    5. The earth
    6. The moon
    7. The star


  16. THE placed before a common noun, gives the meaning of an abstract noun.

    The man in him became vibrant.
    Man - common noun
    The man - the spirit of man

    At last, the warrior in him became evident.
    (The Warrior in him = The warlike spirit)


  17. THE is used before a proper noun only when it is qualified by an adjective or a defining adjective clause.

    1. The great Akbar
    2. The immortal Kalidasa

    The Mr. Nehru whom you met last month is my friend.


  18. THE is used with superlatives with ordinals.

    1. The darkest cloud
    2. The best bet
    3. The worst season
    4. The first man
    5. The tenth lesson


  19. THE is used before a noun (with emphasis) to give the force of a superlative.

    1. The verb is the word in a sentence.
    2. He is the man I meant.
    3. The last word has not been said.


  20. THE is used after how, what, where, who and why in expressions of strong feeling.

    1. What the hell are you doing here?


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