1st Part
The definite article: The

2nd Part
Indefinite Articles “a” and “an” 

3rd Part
No article

Grammar in use

  • Topic : The definite articles
  • Skills : Grammar


What is a definite article?

the phone

the papers

“The‟ is a definite article: it is used before a specific person, object or idea. It can be singular or plural.

I like the bananas in this cake.
This is the person I need to speak to
I‟m going to the bus stop near the market.

We also use “the‟ before an object or a person of which there is only one. This includes the names of seas, rivers, chains of islands, mountain ranges (but not mountains), and countries when their name includes a noun (such as state, kingdom…).

The earth rotates around the sun.
The river Thames flows into the North Sea

Language Tip about the Pronunciation of “the‟.
We write “the” but can say “the” or “thee”.

We say “the” when the next word begins with a consonant. A consonant is: b, c, d, f, etc.We say “thee” when the next word begins with a vowel. A vowel is: a, e, i, o, u.
the car
the boy
the apple (we say “thee apple”)
the image (we say “thee image”)
It is the sound that matters, not the letter we write. So we say “thee” before a vowel sound, not necessarily before a vowel. Likewise, we say “the” before a consonant sound, not necessarily before a consonant.When we wish to place emphasis on a particular word, “the‟ is pronounced “thee”, whether or not the next word begins with a consonant or vowel sound.
the hour (we say “thee hour”)
This is the (pronounced “thee”) best brownie I have ever had!
“The‟ is used before superlatives.

The most expensive object is not necessarily the best.
She was the first woman from here to become a doctor.
The nearest bakery is down the street. “The‟ also refers to a class of people or objects.

The nene is the official state bird of Hawaii.
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

Answer the following questions