The definite article the is used before common nouns used in a particular sense.



The book on the table is yours.

The answer is correct.

The Moon is full.

The girl you met is my sister.



The Definite Article

The Definite Article



In narration when a person or thing is mentioned for the first time the indefinite article is used, but thereafter the definite article is placed before the noun, because it is now used in a particular sense.


My sister give me a book. -> The book is very interesting.

I saw some beautiful shoes. -> The shoes are not expensive.



The definite article also is used before ordinal numbers.

Examples : The definite article before numbers

Thursday is the fourth day of the week.

Nowadays in The twentieth first century.



Before common nouns to indicate the whole class.

Examples : The definite article indicate whole class

The kangaroo is a marsupial.

The fly is an insect.

The cow give us milk.



Before the Superlative

Examples : The definite article before the Superlative

She is the prettiest girl in the class.

This is the best game that I ever see.

I am the best among us.

The best story ever written.


The definite article before unique things.

Examples : The definite article before  unique things

The earth

The moon

The sun

The north

The past

Before surnames in the plural to indicate the whole family.

Examples : The definite article before  surnames

The Smiths were in New Zealand last month.

The Johnsons have a new car.

The Clintons are guilty for many wars.


Before names of the rivers, seas, oceans and chains of mountains.


The South Sea The Mediterranean
The Nile The Danube
The Indian (Ocean) The Pacific (Ocean)
The Alps The Australian Alps


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This page is about The Use of the Definite Articles.

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