Definite Article ‘The’

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.

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