This tag is for questions about the definite article.

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5
votes
4answers
341 views

US Route 101 — “The 101”

In my part of the world, we refer to highways without any article. So we drive on "Highway 64", or "Interstate 64", or "I-64". But when I go to California, they say "The 101". Is there any explanation ...
17
votes
5answers
9k views

Using the definite article before a country/state name

The Punjab is a rich state. Is it correct to use the before Punjab?
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Do I need “the” before the name of my university? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Definite article before proper nouns I was updating my LinkedIn tagline and thinking about whether I should put the article before the name of the university. ...
3
votes
3answers
94 views

“Try and produce best output” versus “try and produce the best output”

I've heard people say both. Which is the right one?
4
votes
5answers
705 views

Why do we use the definite article in the expression “quite the [noun]”?

Like: "quite the singer", "quite the writer", etc. while he/she is just a singer/writer and is not the only singer/writer, etc in that context.
2
votes
2answers
339 views

What is the etymology of “the”?

I was just having this conversation with a friend. Where does the word "the" come from?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I start a sentence with a singular noun with no article?

For example, which one of the following sentences can I use? Consumer of Product X needs to fill out a rebate form […]. Consumers of Product X need to […]. A consumer of Product X needs to ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Definite article before schools, colleges, and universities

Is the always used before the name of a school, college, or university?
3
votes
2answers
535 views

Why does “The Punisher” get an article in his name and “Spiderman” doesn't?

Why not Punisher vs. The Spider-man ? Is the word "the" used however we feel like? Could I call them "Punisher" and "The Spider-man"?
2
votes
3answers
382 views

Which is correct: “Grails” or “The Grails”?

Should it be Grails has integration with jUnit or The Grails has integration with jUnit If the correct answer is the one without the "The", then why? P.S. (The) Grails is an open source ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it necessary to use “the” multiple times?

It seems that the question has eventually become a series of questions.... Question 1 An example goes as: The 1st and (the) 2nd paragraphs of the article are extremely long. Is it necessary ...
3
votes
2answers
345 views

Use of 'the' before human voice

Which is correct? The fascinating features of human voice OR The fascinating features of the human voice Is there a rule or is it another difference between American and British ...
20
votes
6answers
24k views

Why is it “on *the* one hand”?

According to all dictionaries I can see and everyday use by native speakers, this is the correct way: On the one hand, it's larger; on the other hand, it's more expensive. What makes no sense to ...
7
votes
4answers
11k views

“Time is of the essence”… of what?

I'm having a hard time understanding the purpose or meaning of the definite article, the in the common phrase, Time is of the essence. My first thought is that it refers to the task that is ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Definite article — “on television” vs. “on the radio”

Why are these different? We heard the news on the radio. We watched the news on television. In this book, the author says we must use television without the. Why? It makes me crazy. Is ...
3
votes
3answers
638 views

“The (Cobra)” vs. “An (elephant)”, articles with nouns denoting a class

[ 1 ] tells on p.5 that "Singular nouns denoting a class" are preceded by the definite article "THE" (Example: "The Cobra is dangerous"), while on page 7 (Table 6. THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE) it tells ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Omission of definite article with musical instruments

What is the rule for omitting/including the definite article in the following sentences: I used to play piano. I used to play the piano. I would pick the first sentence, but I've heard people ...
6
votes
2answers
186 views

Which would be correct: “outputs” or “puts out”?

Which word should I use in the following context? Is the required before data? Any algorithm first reads data, processes (the) data and finally [outputs|puts out] the processed data.
29
votes
5answers
8k views

Are there any simple rules for choosing the definite vs. indefinite (vs. none) article?

I can’t for the life of me figure out where to use a and where to use the — and where there is no article at all. Is there a simple rule of thumb to memorize? The standard rule you always hear: ...
5
votes
5answers
292 views

“The” for superlative referring to more than one object

Which one of these sentences is correct? The best countries to live in are ... Best countries to live in are ... EDIT: The reason this question is being asked is that this Wiktionary ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Using “the” before ordinal numbers

When learning English I was told that ordinal numbers should always be used with "the" before them. But I often see that this is not always so strict, for example I heard the phrase "April first" ...