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25 / 01 / 2005

DEFINITE ARTICLES: meaning and examples

Good morning. Yesterday we looked at the rules for using indefinite articles (A/AN). Today we are going to look at how to use the definite article (THE). THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: "THE" We use "THE" before both consonant and vowel sounds. However, the pronunciation changes depending on whether it is followed by a consonant sound or a vowel sound: Before a consonant sound --> we pronounce "THE" with an "uh" sound (like the pronunciation of the vowel sound in the word love). Before a vowel sound --> we pronounce "THE" with an "ee" sound (rhymes with he or see) When do we use the definite article? A) We use the definite article to refer to people or things when the speaker and the listener both know what is being referred to: -The football game was very boring. (You know which game I mean.) -She doesn't want to keep the car. (We both know which car she doesn't want.) B) We can use the definite article before singular or plural countable or non-countable nouns: -They own the big house on the corner. -The cat is drinking the milk that I spilled on the floor. -Why didn't you bring the books? C) We use the definite article to refer to things that we have already mentioned: -A dog followed me home yesterday. The dog was friendly and had big ears. D) We use the definite article to refer to a specific or particular thing: -The people who live in that flat are very noisy. (Not people in general, the people in that flat.) -The furniture in that shop is quite expensive. (Not all furniture, the furniture in that shop.) E) We use the definite article with "only", ordinal numbers, and with superlative adjectives: -The only way to get there is by car. -I live on the second floor. -That was the best concert I've ever seen! Tomorrow we will look at when NOT to use articles. If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please don't hesitate to contact me. Have a great day!

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