Is "the" a preposition or an article?

Articles Prepositions asked Oct 24 '13 at 21:35 Amy New member

3 answers


Lewis is right when he says that "the" is the definite article, but wrong when he says it is a kind of adjective.  It's not.  

link edited Oct 25 '13 at 01:21 Paul Henderson Contributor

Purdue University agrees with Lewis.

Patty TOct 25 '13 at 11:56

There will be as many sources citing one preference as there will be citing the other. They are similar to adjectives because they modify nouns, and I think it helps people who don't know the language to understand their function by comparing them to adjectives.

Lewis NeidhardtOct 25 '13 at 12:15

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In addition, I think that it can function as as adverb.

The louder, the better.

The faster we walk, the sooner we can reach.

link comment answered Oct 27 '13 at 11:04 Z. A. Jazley Expert

Labels are only useful if they serve a point.  The distinction between determiners and adjectives is a useful one and should be preserved.  Just to make the point, here are some sentences where adjectives have been replaced with the determiner the. The sentences with an asterisk are wrong.  

The meal was tasty/hot/warm/surprising/wonderful *The meal was the She seems nice/kind/determined/kind-hearted/well-educated. *She seems the They are all happy / strange/ badly-behaved / spoilt children *They are all the children.  The flight made him tired/ late/grumpy.  *The flight made him the She made the sauce thick/ spicy/white/.  She made the sauce the.  

link comment answered Nov 15 '13 at 15:03 Paul Henderson Contributor

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