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what is the use of "THE"?

English translation: definite article

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08:06 Jul 10, 2002
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: what is the use of "THE"?
what is the use of "THE"?
junaid qaiser
English translation:definite article
Explanation:
1. a. Used before singular or plural nouns and noun phrases that denote particular, specified persons or things: the baby; the dress I wore. b. Used before a noun, and generally stressed, to emphasize one of a group or type as the most outstanding or prominent: considered Lake Shore Drive to be the neighborhood to live in these days. c. Used to indicate uniqueness: the Prince of Wales; the moon. d. Used before nouns that designate natural phenomena or points of the compass: the weather; a wind from the south. e. Used as the equivalent of a possessive adjective before names of some parts of the body: grab him by the neck; an infection of the hand. f. Used before a noun specifying a field of endeavor: the law; the film industry; the stage. g. Used before a proper name, as of a monument or ship: the Alamo; the Titanic. h. Used before the plural form of a numeral denoting a specific decade of a century or of a life span: rural life in the Thirties.

2. Used before a singular noun indicating that the noun is generic: The wolf is an endangered species.
3. a. Used before an adjective extending it to signify a class and giving it the function of a noun: the rich; the dead; the homeless. b. Used before an absolute adjective: the best we can offer.
4. Used before a present participle, signifying the action in the abstract: the weaving of rugs.
5. Used before a noun with the force of per: cherries at $1.50 the box.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
Selected response from:

Sarah Ponting
Italy
Local time: 06:27
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +15definite article
Sarah Ponting
4 +1when you can point to itcheungmo
4 +1***
Björn Houben


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +15
definite article


Explanation:
1. a. Used before singular or plural nouns and noun phrases that denote particular, specified persons or things: the baby; the dress I wore. b. Used before a noun, and generally stressed, to emphasize one of a group or type as the most outstanding or prominent: considered Lake Shore Drive to be the neighborhood to live in these days. c. Used to indicate uniqueness: the Prince of Wales; the moon. d. Used before nouns that designate natural phenomena or points of the compass: the weather; a wind from the south. e. Used as the equivalent of a possessive adjective before names of some parts of the body: grab him by the neck; an infection of the hand. f. Used before a noun specifying a field of endeavor: the law; the film industry; the stage. g. Used before a proper name, as of a monument or ship: the Alamo; the Titanic. h. Used before the plural form of a numeral denoting a specific decade of a century or of a life span: rural life in the Thirties.

2. Used before a singular noun indicating that the noun is generic: The wolf is an endangered species.
3. a. Used before an adjective extending it to signify a class and giving it the function of a noun: the rich; the dead; the homeless. b. Used before an absolute adjective: the best we can offer.
4. Used before a present participle, signifying the action in the abstract: the weaving of rugs.
5. Used before a noun with the force of per: cherries at $1.50 the box.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

Sarah Ponting
Italy
Local time: 06:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 67
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  jerrie: I guess this is the answer required..
1 min
  -> that's what I thought was being requested

agree  Marijke Singer: If it is used before an item in a slogan it also infers being the one and only, the best of the pack: the soap, the bank, etc.
14 mins
  -> as in THE one and only!

agree  Enza Longo: also used to identify families,as in: the Smiths, the Qaisers, etc.
34 mins
  -> true

agree  Chris Rowson: It is impossible to define fully when we use "the", this is a pretty good attempt.
41 mins
  -> thanks, Chris

agree  John Kinory: Pretty comprehensive. Marijke: I think you mean imply, not infer.
51 mins
  -> thanks, John

agree  Ingrid Petit
3 hrs

agree  ellery26
3 hrs

agree  Maria-Jose Pastor: a job well done!
4 hrs

agree  airmailrpl
5 hrs

agree  Margaret Lagoyianni: 'The' implies the uniqueness of something
6 hrs

agree  mickymayes
14 hrs

agree  Sue Crocker
14 hrs

agree  Paul Mably
15 hrs
  -> thanks, everyone

agree  Antonio Camangi
23 hrs

agree  AhmedAMS
8 days
  -> thanks, everyone
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
***


Explanation:
you might want to check out a few sites that deal with the subject:


    Reference: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/esl/eslart.html
    Reference: http://www.rpi.edu/dept/llc/writecenter/web/esl.html
Björn Houben
Belgium
Local time: 06:27
Native speaker of: Native in FlemishFlemish, Native in DutchDutch

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  AhmedAMS: Good web sites
8 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

50 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
when you can point to it


Explanation:
Without going into a long explanation, "the" is used, essentially, when you can point to something or someone specific, or otherwise identify it. Usually, using "the" begs the question "which one?"

For example:
The man came to the door and asked for a glass of water.
Immediately, you ask yourself: "What man?"
Now compare with:
A man came to the door and asked for a glass of water.
Your reaction to this one should be: "and what else did he do?". You're not really concerned with who this man is.

the man across the street (i.e. "that guy")
a man across the street (i.e. "some guy, I don't know who")

the solution to your problem (there is only this one solution)
a solution to your problem (this is one solution among many)

the Internet (the network of networks everyone has heard about, the one that grew out of ArpaNet)
an internet (a network of networks somewhere)

the Greeks (the ones in Greece)
a Greek (some guy who happens to be from Greece)


cheungmo
PRO pts in pair: 27

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Maria-Jose Pastor: nice explanataion - sweet and simple
4 hrs
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