Article ‘THE”



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Article ‘THE”

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Article ‘THE’

English is a language known and used in the world, and that popularity makes it one of the most prevalent languages in the world. learning English requires one to understand various aspects from the writing, speaking, to listening, and understanding. The major focus in this discussion is on the written English particularly, the grammar part of it.  Grammar in English includes eight parts of speech namely the nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, interjections, and prepositions. This discussion focuses on the articles, which are identified in the adjective part of speech, that are used to modify or rather give more information about a noun (Baskervili, 2012). There are three articles namely; the indefinite articles a, an, and the definite article ‘the’. Concisely, the discussion below majorly defines article the, shows some of its uses, with some examples as used in sentences.

Article the is one of the most frequently used words in the English language. It is referred to as a definite article as it is used to refer or address a specific and known noun. For instance, if there were many apples on a tables then an individual said “I want the apple” instead of “I want an apple”, it would mean that there is a specific apple that they are asking for not just any apple (Fandel, 2013). This is unlike the indefinite articles, a and an, whereby they are used to refer to any noun, that is they are not particular of a specific noun. In that case, being a definite article, the is used not to introduce an idea but rather used on a noun or something that already exists and has been talked about earlier on (Jabs, 2018). For instance, in this sentence, “as the sick man was taking his medicine, he discovered that the medicine was on not in the usual place but on a plate” we find that the has been used before medicine because it is already mentioned, while a is used before the plate, because the plate is a new idea.

Secondly, article the is used with both singular and plural nouns as well as countable and non-countable nouns. It can be used to generalize an entire class of nouns such as plants or animals. For instance, when one seeks to describe that some species in the world are endangered, one can use article the as follows: “The white rhino is an endangered species that is constantly poached.” Besides the generalization of animals and plants, people can also be generalized in that when one seeks to show how a whole group or class of people are unique culturally or identify their nationality in the world as follows: “The Indians are culturally oriented people with unique cultural practices (Riggs, 2013).” Concisely, article the, as seen above is used to generalize a school, group, or class of people, animals, and plants.

Article the has been used to show identity and ownership in cases of naming physical features such as the relief features and the drainage features. Moreover, when speaking about ownership, article the is used to identify popular institutions or even newspaper houses (Scribendi, 2019). For instance, when identifying relief features one can say “The Everest;” drainage features such as “The Pacific Ocean,” “The Thames;” and ownership such as “The Hilton Hotel, The Guardian, The British Museum” among others. Moreover, the is used with human body parts in a sentence for instance, “He was hit on the leg.” Thus, article the is used before nouns that refer to any known and famous establishment, organization, magazines, publications, and physical or geographical features.

As discussed above, article the is a definite article that modifies a noun, just like an adjective does, and in English grammar, it is used in various ways and forms. These ways include generalizing a class of nouns such as animals, plants, or a group of people; it has been used to specify certain nouns; and show specific reference to something or someone.




Baskervili, W. M. (2012). An English Grammar. Dortmund: tredition GmbH, Hamburg.

Fandel, J. (2013). What Is an Adjective? New York: Capstone Publishers.

Jabs, J. (2018). DEFINITE and INDEFINITE ARTICLES: the, a, an. Business & Enterpreneurship.

Riggs, K. (2013). Grammar Basics: Nouns. New York: Creative Company.

Scribendi. (2019). Using Articles—A, An, The. Retrieved from SCRIBENDI:



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