Definite Article ‘The’ : A short description of Definite Article is given below.
(1) used to refer person(s)/ thing(s)/ event(s) etc Already Referred or when the situation is sufficient to make clear who or what is referred to:
- I had a beautiful pen and a small purse. I got the pen as a gift from my uncle and I got the purse from my aunt.
- He is the girl who showed me the way.
- This is the book I was searching.
- Please accompany these girls to the convent.( here the convent is already referred/ mentioned)
(2) used when it stands for something Unique.
- the sun, the moon, the universe, the earth, the sky, the ocean, the sea etc. ( Note that ‘The’ is omitted before the names of materials as: Gold is a precious metal, Rubber grows in Kerala.)
(3) used before the Superlatives.
- He is the tallest of all the men.
- She is the richest lady in our locality.
- This is the most difficult question I have ever answered.
- Bus is the cheapest means of transportation in our state.
Note : when ‘most’ means ‘very’ the definite is not used.
- The story was most exciting.
- This is a most useful book.
- Most people like this restaurant.
- Most farmers use chemical fertilizers.
(4) used before names of Seas/ Rivers / Canals etc
- the Red sea, the Indian ocean, the Mediterranean, the Nile, the river Thames, the Suez canal.
(5) used with adjectives and participles to denote all members of a class.
- the rich, the poor, the young, the old, the dead, the dying and the wounded.
(6) used before the names of musical instruments.
- the piano, the violin, the guitar etc ( But, with the names of games it is omitted)
- to play tennis/ football/ cards/ chess etc)
(7) used when a singular noun is meant to represent a whole class.
- The horse is a strong animal.
- The dog is a faithful animal. (But, Dogs are faithful animals)
Note: the two nouns ‘man’ and ‘woman’ used in the general sense to denote the whole class never have either article.
- Man is a social animal.
- Woman is more peace-loving than man.
(8) used before the names of Holy books.
- the Bible, the Quran, the Ramayana, the Vedas etc.