Quick Tips: Using Articles, The

Using definite Articles

Articles are an essential part of the English Language but are an often forgotten part of the sentence.

They are words that define a noun as something specific or unspecific.

Let’s look at the sentence below:

Elephant waved its trunk at children and they all laughed.

Without the article, the sentence doesn’t really make sense. So let’s add a definite article (The):

The elephant waved its trunk at the children and they all laughed.

Using a definite article tells us that the noun is about a specific item or thing, in the example above we are talking about a particular elephant and a particular set of children.

The definite article can be used with all types of nouns including plurals.

Let’s look at some further examples:

Let’s go to the party tomorrow!

In this sentence, the speaker is talking about a particular party and is not asking the listener whether they want to go out and find a party and then attend. They have likely already been invited to the party and are discussing their attendance.

The guide took us to the top of the castle.

In this sentence, we are talking about a guide but not just any old guide, the guide who has been assigned to your group. The guide has taken your group all the way to the top of the castle.

A quick guide to the Definite Articles

“The” is used when discussing a specific type of item or person, like the elephant in the example.

The hammer fell on Geoff’s toe.

Please pass me the napkin you are holding.

Can I have more of the soup?

Try it yourself

Articles: definite ‘the’. Grammar exercises. (agendaweb.org)


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