19 Articles – Definite

Determiners

Articles are words that define nouns. They belong to the group of words called Determiners. Essentially there are two kinds of articles: Indefinite and Definite.

We use Definite Articles to talk about specific things.

Definite Articles are usually placed before adjectives and noun phrases. The Definite Article can be used with both singular and plural nouns.

There is only one Definite Article that we have to use before nouns:
“The”

  1. Things mentioned previously
    • There is a dog in your garden. The dog is hungry.
  2. Definite places, buildings, means of transport, services
    • The train station is next to my house.
    • The shop will be closed tomorrow.
    • The bus leaves in five minutes.
    • Everyday I listen to the radio.
  3. The only thing that exists
    • The Pope is visiting Germany next week.
  4. Country names in plural
    • The Netherlands.
  5. Countries where the following words appear in their name: kingdom, republic or states
    • The United Kingdom, The Czech Republic, The United States.
  6. Mountain ranges, oceans, rivers and groups of islands
    • The Alps, The Pacific Ocean, The Nile, The Azores.
  7. Family names in plural
    • The Jacksons lived in Texas for 10 years.
  8. Superlative adjectives
    • Pizza is the most delicious food in the world!
  9. Newspapers
    • The New York Times.
  10. Musical Instruments
    • I play the piano.

Definite Articles are used to refer to specific things already known to both the speaker and writer.

We use the Definite Article when we talk about:

  1. Things mentioned before (to avoid repetitions);
  2. Definite places, buildings, means of transport, services;
  3. The only thing that exists (e.g. the Sun, the Moon, the sky, etc.);
  4. Country names in plural;
  5. Countries where the following words appear in their name: kingdom, republic or states;
  6. Mountain ranges, oceans, rivers and groups of islands;
  7. Family names in plural;
  8. Superlative adjectives;
  9. Newspapers;
  10. Musical instruments.

The Definite Article “the” is a determiner used to talk about specific things. It is placed before nouns or adjectives.

We usually use the Definite Article to refer to the things previously mentioned.

For example:
— “There is a dog in your garden. I think the dog is hungry.” = In the first sentence, we use the Indefinite Article (a/an) because we need to talk about something which we never mentioned before. In the second sentence we use the Definite Article (the) since we know what we are talking about.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.