|The definite article, 'the'|
Two questions this week on the use of the definite article, the.
Xi from China writes:
from Pakistan writes: I am a bit confused this week about
the use of the definite article. Grammar books are too comprehensive
and don't satisfy me. I would like to know more about the use of
the definite article in daily language. Is this sentence correct:
always use the definite article
a) before singular and plural nouns when you are talking about things that both speakers know about.
In your example, Raufhameed, both speakers know all about the dolphin reserve, so use of the definite article is clearly correct.
b) with certain geographical locations or areas, collections of states or islands, mountain ranges, seas and rivers - if you are not sure where any of the following places are, check them out in an atlas:
The People's Republic of China, The United Kingdom, The United States
of America, The Philippines, The Bahamas, The Netherlands, The Channel
Islands, The Far East, The Alps, The Andes, The Cairngorms, The
Himalayas, The Rockies, The Hindu Kush, The Pacific Ocean, The Mediterranean,
The Dead Sea, The Black Sea, The Arabian Sea, The Thames, The Yangtze,
The Ganges, The White Nile, The Mississippi, The Amazon
with groups of people, and with musical and scientific instruments
and animals when you are discussing them as categories:
always omit the definite article
when making general statements about things, people and abstract ideas.
In the following examples, a general statement
when talking about particular countries, continents, towns, streets,
buildings, lakes and mountains: China, Pakistan, America, England,
(Great) Britain, South America, Central America.
when talking about transport, meals, games in general terms and with
certain time expressions, months, seasons, etc.
|For further illustrations and explanations of how to use articles in English, check the learnit archive and search other questions. Go to the Determiners, nouns and pronouns section and take a look particularly at the questions on the/a/an and using articles with geographical names.|