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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

English Corner

"THE" or nothing?

1. Main rule:
The definite article "the" (invariable in form) designates a person, place, or event which has been specified or defined by the speaker:
Here's the book I bought.
The cat is on the roof.
He said he would bring the money.

2. Omission of the definite article
No article is necessary in the following cases:
2.1 Before abstract nouns or nouns representing general categories. It is often omitted after verbs expressing opinions or preferences:
Truth is the highest good.
I don't like animals.
Cats are nicer than dogs.
Time flies.
She likes coffee, but she hates tea.

2.2 Before days of the week and dates:
On Tuesdays museums are closed.
On Saturdays I sleep in.
I was born on June 16, 1980.

2.3 Before names of countries, states, cities, and regions:
France is seventeen times smaller than the United States.
California is larger than Brittany.
Exception: Some names actually include the definite article, such as The Hague, the United States (of America)

2.4. Before titles or nouns indicating professions:
President Mitterrand completed two terms.
We saw Professor Miller at the restaurant.
She met with Doctor Schmidt

TEST: Add the definite article "THE" when it is required.

1) I've just seen ________ latest movie by Spielberg.
2) ________ freedom is the best thing on Earth.
3) ________ Prince Charles will be a good King. 
4) ________ boy sitting there is called John. 
5) I really like ________ Queen Elizabeth III. 
6) I don't like ________ vegetables. 
7) On ________ Sundays, I sleep all day long. 
8) ________ house we've just visited is the most expensive. 
9) ________ life is so boring! 
10) ________ Spain is a very nice country!

ANSWERS 1. the | 2. X | 3. X | 4. The | 5. X | 6. X | 7. X | 8. The | 9. X | 10. X

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