USE OF DEFINITE ARTICLE’THE’
- An article is a word that modifies or describes the noun. It is used before the noun to show whether it refers to something specific or not.
- Definite: to be clear, exact or obvious about something. It is called definite because it is used in relation to a particular thing or person. “The” is the definite article in English, which is used to refer to particular noun.
- The definite article ‘the’ is used:
Rule #1: To indicate a particular person(s) or thing(s):
Look at the boy/boys. He is/they are peculiarly dressed. I want ‘The Golden Book of Treasures’. The book is out-of-print.
Rule #2: Before a noun which has become definite by being mentioned a second time: It is also called ’Familiar The’
There is a tree in the garden. The tree is an oak.
Rule #3: Before a noun made definite by the addition of a phrase or clause:
The girl with the white skirt is beautiful.
The boy who came here is my friend.
The pen which I bought from the market is not so good.
Rule #4: Before a singular noun meant to represent a whole class:
The cow is a useful animal.
The dog is a faithful animal.
The rose is the sweetest of all flowers.
Note: two nouns ‘man’ and ‘woman’ used to denote the whole class never has any article as; (i) Man is mortal (ii) Woman is man`s mate.
Rule #5: Before an uncountable noun to particularize it:
The gold of the ring is very bright.
The political wisdom of Nelson Mandela made him familiar as a popular leader in South Africa.
Rule #6: Before a name of a thing which is only one in nature:
Look at the moon.
The sun shines in the sky.
The earth moves round the sun.
Rule #7: Before a noun denoting nation or race:
The English are industrious.
The Pakistani is intelligent but idle.
Note: Such a noun without ‘the’ indicates the language of the people: English (= English language) is an international language. Urdu (=Urdu language) is a rich language.
Rule #8: Before a name of Road, but not before a name of Street or Avenue:
The bus is running on the Circular Road. The book is bought from College Street.
This bat is available in a shop on Central Avenue. (Not the before a road with a proper noun, e.g. Allama Iqbal Road, Server Shied Road)
Rule #9: Before some nouns to indicate profession:
He joined the bar.
He joined the church.
Rule#10: Before the name of a musical instrument when one plays it. Otherwise not:
He plays the flute. (But, he has a flute)
Note: ‘The’ is not applicable when ‘play on’ is a group verb, as; he plays on flute. (Or) he plays on tabla.
Rule #11: Before ordinal numbers:
Who is the first/the second boy?
The 23rdJanuary is a red-letter day (But, January 23).
Rule #12: As a general rule a proper noun should not have any article before it. But some proper nouns take ‘the’ before them as exception:
Before the names of holy books, newspapers, ships, trains, aero planes, space-craft, famous buildings, rivers, seas, oceans, gulfs, mountain ranges, ground of islands, deserts and directions:
Note: If a book is called after its author, the article is not used. ‘The’ isn`t placed before the names of single mountains, single islands. Not before the names of capes, nor before the names of lakes.
Rule#13:Before the names of a province having a descriptive geographical meaning as such; The Punjab, The Baluchistan, etc.
Rule #14: Before the names of countries which are collectively formed:
The U.S.A. (the United states of America) the U.K. (the united Kingdom) , but not for India, Pakistan, England, America, etc.
Rule #15: Before the plural names of families:
The Bosses are familiar with the browns.
Rule #16: Before proper nouns for comparison to denote a type:
Scot is the Bankim of England.
Ahga Hassan Kashmiri is the Shakespeare of Urdu drama in literary qualities.
Faisal Abad is Manchester of Pakistan as an industrial belt.
Rule #17: Before a proper noun when it is qualified by an Adjective or Adjectival phrases or clauses:
The great Caesar
The immortal poet Allama Iqbal
I am the person who never stood second in the examination.
Rule #18:Before some common nouns and adjectives to express an abstract sense:
The entire mother (= motherly feelings) rose in her.
Check the beast (=beastly passion) in you.
Don`t play the fool. (= foolishness)
Don`t keep him in the dark. (= darkness)
He allowed the father (= his fatherly feelings) to be overruled by the judge.
(= his sense of duty as a judge) and declared his own son to be guilty.
Rule #19: Before adjectives to denote a particular part of a thing:
I like the yellow of an egg. (The yellow)
He entered the thick. (= the thick part) of the forest.
Rule #20: Before a common noun as a suitable for the Possessive Adjective:
He caught me by the arm. (The = my)
He struck you on the head. (The = your)
He pulled the cat by the tail. (The = its)
Rule #21: Before an Adjective to represent a whole class of persons:
The rich (= rich men) are not always happy.
The poor (= poor men) aren`t always dishonest.
The virtuous (= virtuous people) are happy.
Note: The rich aren`t always happy. = rich men aren`t always happy.
The rich man (= a particular rich man) isn`t always happy.
But not, the rich men aren`t always happy;
[The rich men’ don`t denote a whole class, but a particular group of persons]
Rule #22:Before the Adjectives in Superlative degree and the words in the superlative sense:
He is the best boy in the class.
She is the most beautiful girl.
Even the darkest cloud has a silver lining.
The chief minister / the prime minster have arrived here.
He is the singer of the day.
He is the man of the match.
Rule #23: Before Comparatives as Adverbs:
The sooner, the better
The more, the merrier.
The more we have, the more we want.