This tag is for questions about the definite article.

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14
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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 ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

(The/-) measles virus

I have some doubts when it comes to describing viruses causing infectious diseases. I have consulted a couple of very well-written medical reference books, where the authors consistently drop the ...
-1
votes
2answers
95 views

“The title of Bachelor of Engineering” vs “the title Bachelor of Engineering”

... obtained the diploma and the title of Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.). ... obtained the diploma and the title Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng). Which sentence is correct? Which is ...
2
votes
3answers
190 views

Why is there “the” in “oh the horror”?

I am wondering about the interjection "oh, the horror!". If it should be treated as an interjection directed to "horror" (there are similar expressions in other languages), why does it use the article ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

“[Brand] Terms and Privacy” vs. “the [Brand] Terms and Privacy”

I just developed a sign-up form for my website, but as English is not my native language I'm not sure which wording of the following sentence is correct: I agree to [Brand name] Terms and ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Use of the “the” article [duplicate]

Can anyone explain why we use the definite article the for the following: The upper classes often go fox hunting. but People in High society often go fox hunting.
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Necessary and unnecessary articles for proper nouns

In AmE (and probably other dialects as well) there are certain place names and other proper nouns that either have a compulsory definite article or a compulsory lack of one attached to them. For ...
0
votes
3answers
68 views

Why is this sentence incorrect? [closed]

In my understanding, determiners are categorized into three subgroups: predeterminers, central determiners and postdeterminers. Articles (a, an, the) and possessive determiners are identified as ...
5
votes
2answers
115 views

“Them” as a plural definite article

Hey, teachers, leave them kids alone! Intuitively "them" here sounds like it works like a plural "the". Which varieties of English is this usage found in? When it occurs, does it encode a ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

“Both of you” vs. “the both of you”

When we refer to two people, which is right — "both of you" or "the both of you"? Are both the same or is there any difference between them?
0
votes
4answers
62 views

“the” before plural generic noun [closed]

I have found the following sentence in "The Catcher in the Rye". If there's one thing I hate, it's the movies. As far as I know one should use zero article before plural generics. Why does the ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Do we need the definite article before designation plus organization?

If I write Mr. ABC, President of the XYZ Corporation, . . . do I need to use the before President? I know it is must when we are mentioning organizations, but what about designation (more ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

“The time and place” or “the time and the place”

A. He still hasn't told us the time and place of the meeting. B. He still hasn't told us the time and the place of the meeting. Q1: Which of the above sentences is correct and why? More ...
1
vote
2answers
190 views

Why isn’t the definite article used in “The commission commanded that work […] should cease”?

In this sentence: The commission commanded that work on the building should cease. Why isn't the used before the word work? It seems that the work is specified by on the building. Another ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between Ukraine and the Ukraine?

Time magazine (March 5th) carries the article titled, “Ukraine, not the Ukraine: The significance of three little letters,” in which the following comment of William Taylor, who served as the U.S. ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

The Thames and Lake Erie [duplicate]

Extending Using the definite article before a country/state name , why is the definite article placed in front of rivers but not lakes?
6
votes
8answers
694 views

Superlative and definite article “the”

I have seen similar questions like this here on ELU. However, I am still confused with my particular question. (a) She gets up latest in her family. (b) She gets up the latest in her family. ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

“This is Figure 7 on page 777” or “This is Figure 7 on the page 777”? Why not “the”?

I cannot understand what is wrong with "on the page 8"? My instructor claims that it is "on page 8". It is a specific page to which I referring to on a particular book. What is wrong with "the" in ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

index, an index or the index?

Context: Imagine a sequence of indices greater than 1. The sequence must follow these rules: 1.) Index 2 cannot be surrounded by two indices 3. ... (I know this may be written in much more simple ...
0
votes
3answers
548 views

Definite article in the question “What is the time?”

I am not a native speaker. Could you please explain to me why we use the definite article in the following question: What is the time?
3
votes
4answers
401 views

Why do we put “the” before “end”?

At the end of most movies I see the phrase "The end". Obviously the meaning of "end" here is clear, but I don't see a purpose for the "the" before it. Would you elaborate why it goes before "end"?
0
votes
4answers
48 views

Is my use of “the” in this example correct?

I encountered many rules and even this article here on StackExchange. However, this is not about going to "college" or "the college", I think it more difficult. I wrote: "Bad recommendations ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

How to use articles with scientific words, such as mass, force, impulse, field and others?

How are articles used with scientific quantities, such as mass, force, impulse, field and others?
0
votes
2answers
31 views

“the” before or after “all”

Which one is more correct, if everybody knows that I am talking about all the students in a specific classroom. assignments must be done by all the students assignments must be done by all ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

In English, do people say “the Jack” or “the Donald” to specify someone special?

I heard Donald Trump had the nickname the Donald. So I'm curious, can I say Did you see the John? or Did you see the Michael? Do people say it? What if there are five Michaels at a ...
0
votes
4answers
151 views

A Few Notes on Generic Reference

In English, generic reference takes three possible forms: A. Cats are cute. B. A cat is cute. C. The cat is cute. But the names of nationalities seem to me to make an exception to this rule. As ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

“I'm a student at UCLA” or “I'm a student in UCLA”?

Sounds simple, but I've always been confused. I am also not sure about using the definite article, like “I'm a student in/at the UCLA.” Is that normative American English? Thanks for your help.
1
vote
3answers
101 views

racism VS the racism

There are other reasons for the racism: the legacy of fascism and the continuing adulation of Benito Mussolini; the tangible insecurity, even sense of inferiority, of many Italians; widespread ...
0
votes
4answers
223 views

“What a beautiful day” or “what the beautiful day”? And exactly why?

Although we know that day which we are talking about, why don't we say "What the beautiful day!" instead of "What a beautiful day!" ? In addition, a friend of mine have already said the following, ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Uncountable noun + of + uncountable noun with or without definite article

It would be much appreciated if you could identify any differences regarding whether using the definite article or not in the two citations below brings about any changes in meaning. What is being ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

Should an article be used for the word “war”?

I’ve been reading much about the US poverty war recently. Some people say: He declared the war on poverty fifty years ago. But others say: He declared war on poverty fifty years ago. ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Definite article or not in “the low sampling frequency”

I do not mention what is the sampling frequency but I know that it is low. Should I use the article "the" or not in the following? 1 This can be highly error prone because of narrow bandlimited ...
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does the Sudan have a “the” in the name?

I am endlessly perplexed why the country Sudan has a the in the name: "I am from the Sudan". Why not "I am from the Kansas" or "the China"? I understand the the in "the United States" because a ...
3
votes
3answers
617 views

Why is it “The King's Speech” but “Le Discours d'un Roi”?

In the movie's Wikipedia article, there is a French poster of the movie, which says "Le Discours d'un Roi". This is interesting to me because the French title uses the indefinite article "un" to refer ...
-1
votes
2answers
129 views

Pretentious Language Part 2

An acquaintance of mine who was born in Long Island has taken to putting the definite article "the" in front of nouns when he speaks. For example "I love the Google" or "In NYC I met the boyfriend" ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

When should I repeat the definite article?

I am a bit confused about the rule of setting the definite article in a sentence when it is associated to two nouns. The beginning and end of the channel. The beginning and the end of the ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

“It is a/the search to which I've dedicated my writing”

It is a search to which I've dedicated my writing. — Source Isn't it supposed to be the?
2
votes
2answers
81 views

“the like” sequence

I have a question about "the like" I found in a book. The sentence: "you who have never seen the like can scarcely imagine what delicate and wonderful flowers..." I've seen "the more you know the ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

‘The’ Days of Our Lives [closed]

In the show 'Friends' there is an exchange between Ross and Joey that goes like this: Joey: I'm in this show called 'The Days of Our Lives'. Ross: Dude, it's just 'Days of Our Lives'. There's no ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

When to use a definite article in the name of a ship

To use examples from Star Trek, the original series and The Next Generation called their ships "The Enterprise", Enterprise varied between "Enterprise" and "The Enterprise", Deep Space Nine always had ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Should you use two definite articles in “the Wigner-Ville and Li-Katar distributions”?

Which one is right? the Wigner-Ville and Li-Katar distributions the Wigner-Ville and the Li-Katar distributions Assume that both Wigner-Ville and Li-Katar are distributions.
1
vote
1answer
60 views

How to use of “the” with some equations? [duplicate]

I am thinking which one you should use A Lorem ipsun which is the Wigner-Ville transform. B Lorem ipsun which is Wigner-Ville transform. Some says that the first but I like the last one ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

“The day of” into “a day of”

Is this grammatically correct? The day of rest became a day of violence when a bomb exploded in a Belfast cafe. Or is this better? A day of rest became a day of violence when a bomb exploded ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

Definite article usage: “I'm going to mosque” Or “I'm going to the mosque”?

AS Hornby says in one of his books that we should always use the before mosque, and temple unlike church. When we go to a church for prayer, we say I am going to church while we say I am ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Article - “a” or “the” or plural for countable nouns?

I think a countable noun are usually of the following 3 forms: the + countable noun (single form) a + countable noun (single form) countable noun (plural form) I am confused about which to pick ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

quote from the TV show Terra Nova

Here's the scene. Two teens are sitting at a bank of a river and cutting some cretaceous fruits for moonshine. The guy: What is this? (meaning the thing he's cutting the fruits with) The girl: ...
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: ...
0
votes
4answers
207 views

Why “the ipad” and not simply ipad [duplicate]

From what I've learned, special names don't get definite articles. (I should admit that the use of articles in English is very tricky) For example, we say Apple but not the Apple to refer to the ...