Definite Article - 04

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Chief Rules - II - Definite Article.


1. The (not A or An) is used with (/ right before) superlatives.

E.g. That was the biggest hit I have seen ever.
I am going by the last train.

2. “The” is used with (i) the names of oceans and seas, rivers, mountain ranges (but not single mountains), (ii) certain activities or states of nature, and (iii) directions.

(i) The Pacific ocean; the Mahaweli, the Nile, the Himalayas, the Knuckles, …
(ii) The heat on the plains is almost unbearable.
(iii) The Mahaveli lies to the East of Colombo.

3. The is used with the names of well-known publications.

E.g. # The Iliad and the Mahabharata have many points of resemblance.
# The Lankadeepa is published in Colombo.

4. ‘The’ is used with the (i) names of ships and (ii) trains, (iii) of famous buildings, and (iv) certain regions.

E.g. (i) The Jet Liner is the greatest ship Sri Lanka Navy has.
(ii) The Yal Devi was blast by the terrorists.
(iii) You can stay at the Taj Samudra hotel when you come to Colombo.
(iv) The French are building a railway across the Sahara.

5. ‘The’ is used with the adjectives that are used as nouns.
# The blind and the deaf and the dumb are greatly to be pitied.

[But, be careful not to say a blind or a deaf or a poor. You must say a blind man, a deaf woman, a poor boy, etc.]

"# Similarly, 'The' is used in front of a singular noun when make a general statement about things or beings of that type.

E.g. An area in which the computer has made considerable strides in recent years is in playing chess.
After dogs, the horse has had the closest relationship with man."

6. The is often used with plural substantives.

# The Rajapakshas are/were ruling Sri Lanka.
# The Aryans live in Asia.
# The Cholas ruled over South East India.
# The Gurkhas live in Nepal.

7. "You use the in front of each of two comparative adjectives or adverbs when you are describing how one amount or quality changes in relation to another.

# The longer you have been in shape in the past, the quicker you will regain fitness in future.

8. Used to refer to something that everyone knows because it is part of our natural environment or part of daily life (our general experience of the world):

What will be the weather like in the future?
I looked out into the darkness.
Sometimes the traffic kept her awake at night.

9. Used as a function word to designate one of a class as the best, most typical, best known, or most worth singling out.

This is the life.

10. Used with unique people or objects.

The president was very wise there.

What happens when the moon comes between the earth and the sun?"
(Occurs a solar eclipse or a lunar eclipse, which one?)

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