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Rules to Use Article “the” in Grammar

February 25, 2024

The” is known as the definite article and is used before a noun to indicate that the noun is specific and identifiable.

imag of use of when to use article The

Usage of Article “The”

Here are some examples and specific rules for using “the” in certain phrases and expressions. 

1: The definite article ‘the’ is used to identify a specific person, place, or thing.

  1. I’m looking forward to the game.
  2. She turned on the lamp next to her bed.”
  3. The President is giving a speech today.
  4. I saw the teacher at the store earlier.
  5. Can you call the doctor for me?

2: We can also use ‘the’ to refer to plural nouns, when they are being referenced specifically, as in:

  1. She’s looking for the papers she printed last night.”
  2. I see that the students have already arrived.

3: When two or more connected nouns refer to the same person or thing, the article is ordinarily used before the first only.

  1. The professor and principal is dead.
  2. The captain and coach of the team gave a pep talk.
  3. The author and artist signed my copy of the book.

4: With the names of:

image showing Use of article the with names
  1. Rivers: The Indus, The Nile River, The Mississippi River, The Yangtze River, and The Ganges River.
  2. Gulfs: The Persian Gulf, The Gulf of Mexico, The Gulf of Guinea, The Gulf of Alaska.
  3. Groups of islands: The West Indies, The Maldives, The Bahamas, The Philippines
  4. Names of Oceans: The Indian Ocean, The Atlantic Ocean, The Pacific Ocean, The Southern Ocean.
  5. Mountains Ranges: The Himalayas, The Alps, The Mount Everest, The Mount Fuji.
  6. Countries: The USA. The U.K. The Republic of Ireland.
  7. Provinces: The Punjab, The Sindh, The Uttar Pradesh, The Rajasthan
  8. Seasons: The spring, The Autumn, The Summer.

5: Use “the” to refer to something which has already been mentioned.

  1. I went to a movie last night. The movie was really good.
  2. I bought a new car last week. The car is a hybrid.
  3. I have three cats. The oldest cat is 11 years old.

6)  Use “the” when you assume there is just one of something in that place, even if it has not been mentioned before.

  1. We went on a walk in the forest yesterday.
  2. Where is the bathroom?
  3. My father enjoyed the book you gave him.

7:  Use “the” in sentences or clauses where you define or identify a particular person or object.

  1. The man who wrote this book is famous.
  2. I live in the small house with a blue door.
  3. He is the doctor I came to see.

8: Use “the” to refer to people or objects that are unique.

  1. The sun rose at 6:17 this morning.
  2. You can go anywhere in the world.
  3. Clouds drifted across the sky.

9. Use “the” before superlatives and ordinal numbers.

  1. This is the highest building in New York.
  2. She read the last chapter of her new book first.
  3. You are the tallest person in our class.
  4. This is the third time I have called you today.

10. Use “the” with adjectives, to refer to a whole group of People.

  1. The French enjoy cheese.
  2. The elderly require special attention.
  3. She has given a lot of money to the poor.

11. Use “the” with decades.

  1. He was born in the seventies.
  2. This is a painting from the 1820s.

12. Use “the” with clauses introduced by ‘only’:

  1. This is the only day we’ve had sunshine all week.
  2. You are the only person he will listen to.
  3. The only tea I like is black tea.

13. Use “the” with newspaper names

  1. The Times of India is based in Mumbai.
  2. The Washington Post is a major newspaper in the United States.
  3. I read it in the Guardian.
  4. She works for the New York Times.

14. Use “the” with the names of famous buildings, works of art, museums, or monuments.

  1. Have you been to the Vietnam Memorial?
  2. We went to the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa.
  3. I would like to visit the Eiffel Tower.
  4. I saw King Lear at the Globe.

15. Use “the” with the names of hotels & restaurants, unless these are named after a person.

  1. They are staying at the Hilton on 6th street.
  2. We ate at the Golden Lion.
  3. Have you been to The Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas?
  4. I had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory last night.

16. Use “the” with the names of families, but not with the names of individuals.

1.We’re having dinner with the Smiths tonight.

2.The Browns are going to the play with us.

17. Names of holy books

  1. The Bible is divided into two main sections.
  2. I recite the holy Quran in the morning every day.
  3. The Torah contains the foundational narratives and laws of Judaism.

18. It is placed before an adjective to show it as a whole class

  1. The rich rarely understand the struggles of the poor.
  2. The young are often underestimated.

19. It is placed before the names of nations.

  1. The Pakistani,
  2. The Chinese,
  3. The French.
  4.  The American
  5. The British
  6. The Australian
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