Unit 4.1

Definite Articles

Determiners

Articles are words that define nouns and they belong to the group of words called determiners. Essentially there are two kinds of articles: indefinite and definite.

We use the definite article to refer to specific things.

The Definite article is usually placed before both singular and plural nouns, noun phrases or adjectives. 

There is only one definite article that we use before nouns: the.

  1. Countries where the following words appear in their name: kingdom, republic or states
    • The United KingdomThe Czech RepublicThe United States.
  2. Country names in plural
    • The Netherlands.
  3. 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.
    • Every day I listen to the radio.
  4. Family names in plural
    • The Jacksons lived in Texas for 10 years.
  5. Newspapers
    • The New York Times.
  6. Mountain ranges, oceans, rivers and groups of islands
    • The AlpsThe Pacific OceanThe NileThe Azores.
  7. Musical Instruments
    • I play the piano.
  8. Superlative adjectives
    • Pizza is the most delicious food in the world!
  9. The only thing that exists
    • The Pope is visiting Germany next week.
  10. Things mentioned previously
    • There is a dog in your garden. The dog is hungry.

We use definite articles when we refer to specific things already known to both the speaker and the interlocutor.

We use the definite article with:

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

The definite article the is a determiner used to refer to a specific thing. It is placed before both singular and plural nouns, noun phrases or adjectives. 

For example:
— “I think the dog is hungry.” = We use the to refer to one specific dog.
♦ “There is a dog in your garden.” = We use a/an to refer to a non-specific dog.

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

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