Is there a simple rule for "the" article?


Some people, whose background has little to do with "germanic" languages, are usually prone to "article mistakes".


Is there any simple rule for defining where "the" article should go?

asked Nov 05 '10 at 15:28 arsen.kostenko New member

6 answers


The definite article is used before singular and plural nouns when the noun is specific or particular. The signals that the noun is definite, that it refers to a particular member of a group. For example:

"The dog that bit me ran away." Here, we're talking about a specific dog, the dog that bit me.

link comment answered Nov 11 '10 at 14:51 Contributor

I will give an example needed in the definite article number 2 of which Kimberly had explained : Open the door. Is it right?

link edited Feb 11 '11 at 17:14 Kiyong Kim kiyong New member

Exactly! Thanks. KimberlyFeb 20 '11 at 08:43

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"The" is a definite article, it is used as followings:

1. the+unique nouns

the earth

the stars

the sun

2. with nouns mentioned for the second time.

I have a car, the car is small but enough for me.

3. with modified nouns

the boy in black is my brother.

4. the+ a noun by the reason of locality can be represented a particular thing

the car in the garage.

5. the+ singular noun that represents the whole class of things

the lion is dangerouse.

6. the+adj.

the rich should help the poor.

7. with names of rivers, seas, groups od islands, chain of mountains, and plural names of counties

the dead sea

the hawaii

the united states

the united kingdom

8. with names of people which has a title

the simpsons

the adams


And zero article with proper nouns, abstract nouns, meals, names of games, parts of body or clothings, and locatives.

Kojin is a student.

Death is a real fact.

I have my breakfast at 8 am.

I like football.

Raise your hand.

I go home.

link edited Feb 18 '11 at 17:16 kojin Ismael New member

These rules are a great complement to the material already here. Thanks Kojin! KimberlyFeb 20 '11 at 08:44

the Hawaiian Islands, I am going home. Nancy SalamaJun 21 '11 at 21:14

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Why don't we say 'I am going to the school or ' I am going to the bed ' as there are lots of schools and beds but we are regarding just a specific school or bed ,then why not use "THE"

link comment edited Mar 19 '15 at 06:45 maham New member

the swidish is a German language 

link comment answered Oct 31 '16 at 05:20 israt New member

Can i say Are you a students ?

link answered Jan 19 at 03:46 Mgoode Alhaddad New member

No. You can say. Are you a student? Use "a" with a singular noun. Or Are you students? In this case, do not use "a" because this word"students" is plural.

Sabi I. CApr 18 at 01:23

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