Definite Article

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Anything we write in English is incomplete without the usage of articles.

Articles make a write-up complete and are used before nouns or noun equivalents. They are a kind of adjective. There are two types of Article in English Grammar: Definite Article and Indefinite Article. The definite article includes The and Indefinite article consists of A and An. Today, we will discuss how to use The Definite Article and its importance.

What are Articles?

Articles are words that allude to or call attention to the thing. There are just three articles in English language structure – the, an and an, and they are sorted into two general classifications clear and inconclusive. These three have their various employments.


As a thumb rule, you can recall that all the words that start with a vowel SOUND will take a preceding them. For what reason did we underline the sound? 

As we have learned in prior evaluations that there are five vowels in English language structure – an, e, i, o and u. A typical legend is that "AN" goes before just the words that start with these vowel letters, like owl, elephants, and such.

Be that as it may, curiously, vowels in English are not about the letters a, e, i, o, u in composed, however their sounds. In written English, there can be consonants that take precedence. For instance, hour, honor, etc. But you cannot use "an" with "hospital" that too starts with H just like Hour & Honour.

The reason behind it is simple. Hour & Honour sounds like a vowel, and thus we use "an" with such words. In contrast, words like "Hospital" don't have vowel sounds and therefore are known as consonants. With such consonant words, we use another article "a".

The Definite Article (The)

The definite article is used when the speaker accepts that the audience already knows the person or the thing referring in the sentence (since it is self-evident, because it is regular information, or because it was referred in a similar sentence or a prior sentence).

Usage of "The" Definite article is very particular and sometimes can be confusing. But if you will understand the basics behind its usage, you will get an idea where you should use this article and where not. Check out these rules to understand where we should use The Definite Article.

How to Use Definite Article?

1) Before a Noun

When we talk about something that already has been referred to in the prior sentence, we use "The" after that. For example:

  • A cat got in the fight with our dog yesterday. The dog won the battle.

  • I purchased another house at Lokhandwala. The house is over the top expensive.

2) When Nouns Are Already Known to the User

When the user is already aware of the thing you are talking about, at such places we use "The" instead of describing that thing since it is already known to the user. For example:

  • "Michael is wearing a suit at the party." In this case, a person already knows about the party which the other person is referring to in this sentence, and thus we used "the" to refer to the party.

  • "The men were not in the vehicle." Both the men and the vehicle are known to the person as of now. 

 3) Before Unique Nouns 

Remember it as a thumb rule. "The" will always refer to Universal things Like The Sun, The Moon, The Arabian Ocean, The Bermuda Triangle, The Eiffel tower, The Himalayas, etc. 

All these Universal things or Places are certain and won't change. So we use "The" to refer to such things.

4) Superlative Adjectives

Superlative adjectives are used for Definite Nouns and to describe something special and unique. For example:

  • My mother cooks the Best North Indian Food on the Earth.

  • At 3307 ft. Height, Jeddah Tower is The Tallest structure on the planet.

  • My child sister is The Most irritating individual in the house.

Here "Best", "Tallest" and "Most" are the superlative adjectives, and thus we used "The" before them.

5) Before Adjectives Used as Nouns

If you are talking about some advice or duty, at such places also, we use "The". For example:

  • Fortune Favors the Brave

Here Brave is used both as a noun and adjective, so we used "The" before it.

6) Proper Nouns

With Proper Nouns such as Nation's Name, Plural names of nations, a few titles, a few associations, a few structures, papers, masterpieces, explicit family names, mountains, waterways, oceans, gatherings of islands, and deserts, we use "the".

For Example: The Indian sea, The Bay of Bengal, The Netherlands, The Caspian, The United States of America, The Taj Mahal, The Times of India, The Suez Canal, The Bay of Bengal, The Guptas. 

7) With Nationalities

Whenever we talk about any nationality, we must use "the" before it to emphasize on that word. For example:

  • The British controlled India for a long time.

  • The Belgian chocolate is not liked by everyone.

Regardless of whether nationality is in the plural. Like: 

  • The Indians aced in chess at the title.

  • The Chinese are also known as the Dragons in the World.

  • The Americans.

8) Mentions of Services or Systems

  • Switch on the television to watch the latest show.

  • We must go to the police to report the crime.

  • We should take this to the buyer court.

9) With some Comparative Proclamations 

When you compare two things with each other as motivational advice or something else, "The" must be used in such sentences. For example:

  • The more I work, the more I will be successful.

  • The more you will travel, the more you will fall in love with Nature.

General Rules / Tricks to Follow to Use "The" Definite Article

  • Use them for things which have been mentioned already

  • Use when there is something unique, even if not mentioned already.

  • Use them when you are expressing a statement for a particular person or object.


So, now when you know where and when you should use The Definite Article, we will advise you to practice it with some sentences. Try to make all the possible sentences you can create using the above rules and check how much you have learned about it.