the */*/*/


the */*/*/
strong UK [ðiː] / US [ðɪ] weak UK [ðə] / US UK [ðɪ] / US determiner
Summary:

The is used as the definite article before a noun.
1) used when you are referring to a particular thing or person that has already been mentioned or is already known about

Have you locked the door?

I have to look after the children.

A nurse brought me some bread and coffee, but the bread was stale and the coffee tasted of soap.

a) used when it is obvious which one you are referring to because there is only one

The sun was hidden behind a cloud.

the US president

I'll meet you outside the main entrance.

b) used when you are referring to familiar things that people deal with regularly

I looked up at the ceiling.

Suddenly all the lights went out.

a place to shelter from the wind and the rain


Usage note:
Use the before words such as "school", "university", and "prison" when you are referring to a particular building: Inspectors will be visiting the school next week. Do not use the when you are referring to the institution in general: Her husband has been sent to prison for three years. In American English, however, the is used with "hospital" for referring to the institution in general: She was admitted to the hospital with minor head injuries.
2) used before a singular noun when making a general statement about people or things of a particular type

The average university student is not very interested in politics.

People have come to depend on the car as their only means of transport.


Usage note:
Do not use the when you are talking about travelling by a particular form of transport: We went by plane.
3)
a) used when referring to a part of a particular thing

Take the top of the piece of paper and fold it so that it is even with the bottom.

b) used when referring to parts of the body

He has a gunshot wound in the neck.

4) used before dates or periods of time

the 4th of July

The next day he flew back to Paris.

the 1930s/the eighties etc:

popular music of the 1960s

5) used when explaining which person or thing you are referring to

Who was the actor who played Romeo?

We live in the house with green shutters.

We shall be interviewing Peter Carey, the author.

6) used before a noun that refers to an action, especially when it is followed by "of"

the destruction of a whole city

the death of Princess Diana

the burning of several houses

7)
a) used before the names of seas, rivers, deserts, or groups of mountains

the Pacific Ocean

the Thames

the Sahara

the Alps

b) used before the names of large public buildings

the Town Hall

the Science Museum


Usage note:
The is not usually used before the names of individual mountains: Mount Everest
The is not usually used before the names of streets, towns, countries, states, or continents: My parents live in Kenya. There are a few exceptions, for example: the Sudan the United States the Hague
8) used before an adjective to form a noun when you are referring to the type of thing that is described by the adjective
the impossible/supernatural/unthinkable etc:

Are we attempting to achieve the impossible?

a belief in the supernatural

9) used before superlative adjectives and words such as "first", "second", "next", and "last"

the best hotel in Paris

It was the first time I'd ever met a real live film star.

10)
a) used before an adjective to form a plural noun when you are referring to people of a particular type or people from a particular country
the rich/poor/young/unemployed etc:

a policy of taxing the rich to help the poor

the French/British/Japanese etc:

The Japanese eat a lot of seafood.

b) used before a plural name when you are referring to members of a particular family

She's been living with the Wilsons for nearly three months.


Usage note:
Do not use the before a person's name when it is used in the possessive: The car was parked in front of Jim's house.
11) [usually in negatives] used when saying whether there is enough of something for a particular purpose

He didn't have the strength to go on fighting.

I'd like to start my own business – that's what I'd do if I had the money.

12) used when you are saying what type of musical instrument someone plays

Lorna plays the violin.

13) UK [ðiː] / US [ðɪ]
used when a particular person, thing, or place that you are referring to is the famous one, or is the best or most fashionable

"The man's name was Alfred Hitchcock." "Not the Alfred Hitchcock?"

For night-life, Juan-les-Pins is definitely the place.

14) used before the name of a dish when ordering food, especially in an expensive restaurant

I'd like the salmon, please.


Usage note:
Do not use the before the names of meals: Dinner is at 7.30. What are we having for lunch?

the ... the ... — used with "more", "less", and other comparatives for showing that when an amount, activity, feeling, or quality increases or is reduced, it causes something else to increase or be reduced at the same time

The more people who help, the better.

The sooner we finish, the happier I'll be.


English dictionary. 2014.