the

(Usually pronounced [[t]ðə[/t]] before a consonant and [[t]ði[/t]] before a vowel, but pronounced [[t]ðiː[/t]] when you are emphasizing it.)
1) DET You use the at the beginning of noun groups to refer to someone or something that you have already mentioned or identified.

A waiter came and hovered. John caught my look and we both got up and, ignoring the waiter, made our way to the buffet...

Six of the 38 people were Russian citizens.

2) DET You use the at the beginning of a noun group when the first noun is followed by an `of' phrase or a clause which identifies the person or thing.

There has been a slight increase in the consumption of meat...

Of the 9,660 cases processed last year, only 10 per cent were totally rejected.

3) DET You use the in front of some nouns that refer to something in our general experience of the world.

It's always hard to speculate about the future...

Amy sat outside in the sun...

He lay in the darkness, pretending to sleep.

4) DET You use the in front of nouns that refer to people, things, services, or institutions that are associated with everyday life.

The doctor's on his way...

Who was that on the phone?...

You're old enough to travel on the train by yourself...

They have a generator when the electricity fails...

Four executive journalists were detained for questioning by the police today...

He took a can of beer from the fridge.

5) DET You use the instead of a possessive determiner, especially when you are talking about a part of someone's body or a member of their family.

`How's the family?' - `Just fine, thank you.'...

I patted him on the head...

She took Gill by the hand.

6) DET: DET sing-n You use the in front of a singular noun when you want to make a general statement about things or people of that type.

An area in which the computer has made considerable strides in recent years is in playing chess...

After dogs, the horse has had the closest relationship with man.

7) DET You use the with the name of a musical instrument when you are talking about someone's ability to play the instrument.

Did you play the piano as a child?...

She was trying to teach him to play the guitar.

8) DET: DET pl-n You use the with nationality adjectives and nouns to talk about the people who live in a country.

The Japanese, Americans, and even the French and Germans, judge economic policies by results.

9) DET: DET pl-n You use the with words such as `rich', `poor', `old', or `unemployed' to refer to all people of a particular type.

Conditions for the poor in Los Angeles have not improved.

...care for the elderly, the mentally handicapped and the disabled.

10) DET: DET pl-n-proper If you want to refer to a whole family or to a married couple, you can make their surname into a plural and use the in front of it.

...a 400 acre farm owned by the Allens...

The Taylors decided that they would employ an architect to do the work.

11) DET: DET adj/-ed You use the in front of an adjective when you are referring to a particular thing that is described by that adjective.

He knows he's wishing for the impossible...

I thought you might like to read the enclosed.

12) DET: DET n to-inf, DET n for n You use the to indicate that you have enough of the thing mentioned for a particular purpose.

She may not have the money to maintain or restore her property...

We must have the patience to continue to work until we will find a peaceful solution...

Carl couldn't even raise the energy for a smile.

Syn:
13) DET You use the with some titles, place names, and other names.

...the SUN, the DAILY STAR and the DAILY EXPRESS.

...the Albert Hall...

The King has already agreed that the President of the Nepal Congress should be the Prime Minister.

14) DET: DET ord You use the in front of numbers such as first, second, and third.

The meeting should take place on the fifth of May...

Marco Polo is said to have sailed on the Pacific on his way to Java in the thirteenth century...

One ferry operator `Sealink' said it was now running a full service for the first time in five weeks.

15) DET: DET pl-num You use the in front of numbers when they refer to decades.

It's sometimes hard to imagine how bad things were in the thirties.

16) DET: DET superl You use the in front of superlative adjectives and adverbs.

Brisk daily walks are still the best exercise for young and old alike...

The Mayor of West Berlin described the Germans as the happiest people in the world...

This engine uses all the most modern technology...

The third girl answered the most audibly.

17) DET: DET compar DET compar You use the in front of each of two comparative adjectives or adverbs when you are describing how one amount or quality changes in relation to another.

The longer you have been in shape in the past, the quicker you will regain fitness in future...

The more confidence you build up in yourself, the greater are your chances of success.

18) DET: DET sing-n When you express rates, prices, and measurements, you can use the to say how many units apply to each of the items being measured.

New Japanese cars averaged 13 km to the litre in 1981...

Some analysts predicted that the exchange rate would soon be $2 to the pound.

Syn:
19) DET You use the to indicate that something or someone is the most famous, important, or best thing of its kind. In spoken English, you put more stress on it, and in written English, you often underline it or write it in capitals or italics.

Camden Market is the place to be on a Saturday or Sunday...

`Olympia is in America, where K Records was founded.' - `No! Surely you don't mean THE K Records?'


English dictionary. 2008.

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