There are 8 situations when you need to think about definite articles.
Situation # 1
Use the when the noun has been referred to in a previous sentence. Both the writer and the reader know which noun the writer is referring to.
If the writer continues to write about the fire and writes about the fire in the conference room, then the next reference to the conference room will likely include the definite article.
Situation # 2
Use the with plural nouns and uncountable nouns, when referring to specific things.
Situation # 3
Use the to make nouns more precise.
The refers to a specific class among all possible classes. In this case, we have had many classes but only this class was on child development.
Situation # 4
Use the when a phrase or clause comes after the noun that makes the noun more specific. (This is similar to situation # 3)
If we wrote, ‘We would like to hear reasons for their misbehaviour’ omitting the, it would also be correct, but change the meaning to intimate that perhaps there are no reasons.
Situation # 5
Use the when the noun is preceded by a sequence marker, such as ‘first’ or ‘next’.
Situation # 6
Use the when the noun is preceded by adjectives, such as ‘only’, ‘essential’, ‘unique’ or ‘perfect’.
Situation # 7
Use the when the noun is preceded by a superlative adjective, such as ‘biggest’ or ‘smartest’.
Situation # 8
Use the with quantifiers, such as ‘some of’, ‘most of’, ‘all of’, ‘many of’, and ‘much of’.
Previous Page Next Page