Meaning of THE in English

Frequency: The word is one of ~ 700 most common words in English.

Note: 'The' is ~ definite article. It is used at ~ beginning of noun groups. 'The' is usually pronounced before a consonant and before a vowel, but pronounced when you are emphasizing it.


You use ~ at ~ beginning of noun groups to refer to someone or something that you have already mentioned or identified.

A waiter came and hovered. John caught my look and we both got up and, ignoring ~ waiter, made our way to ~ buffet...

Six of ~ 38 people were Russian citizens.



You use ~ at ~ beginning of a noun group when ~ first noun is followed by an ‘of’ phrase or a clause which identifies ~ person or thing.

There has been a slight increase in ~ consumption of meat...

Of ~ 9,660 cases processed last year, only 10 per cent were totally rejected.



You use ~ in front of some nouns that refer to something in our general experience of ~ world.

It’s always hard to speculate about ~ future...

Amy sat outside in ~ sun...



You use ~ in front of nouns that refer to people, things, services, or institutions that are associated with everyday life.

The doctor’s on his way...

Who was that on ~ phone?...



You use ~ instead of a possessive determiner, especially when you are talking about a part of someone’s body or a member of ~ir family.

‘How’s ~ family?’—‘Just fine, thank you.’...

I patted him on ~ head...



You use ~ in front of a singular noun when you want to make a general statement about things or people of that type.

An area in which ~ computer has made considerable strides in recent years is in playing chess...

After dogs, ~ horse has had ~ closest relationship with man.

DET: DET sing-n


You use ~ with ~ name of a musical instrument when you are talking about someone’s ability to play ~ instrument.

She was trying to teach him to play ~ guitar.



You use ~ with nationality adjectives and nouns to talk about ~ people who live in a country.

The Japanese, Americans, and even ~ French and Germans, judge economic policies by results.

DET: DET pl-n


You use ~ with words such as ‘rich’, ‘poor’, ‘old’, or ‘unemployed’ to refer to all people of a particular type. for ~ elderly and ~ disabled.

DET: DET pl-n


If you want to refer to a whole family or to a married couple, you can make ~ir surname into a plural and use ~ in front of it.

The Taylors decided that ~y would employ an architect to do ~ work.

DET: DET pl-n-proper


You use ~ in front of an adjective when you are referring to a particular thing that is described by that adjective.

He knows he’s wishing for ~ impossible...

I thought you might like to read ~ enclosed.

DET: DET adj/-ed


You use ~ to indicate that you have enough of ~ thing mentioned for a particular purpose.

She may not have ~ money to maintain or restore her property...

We must have ~ patience to continue to work until we will find a peaceful solution...

= sufficient

DET: DET n to-inf, DET n for n


You use ~ with some titles, place names, and o~r names.

The company was alleged to have leaked ~ news to ~ Daily Mail.

...~ Albert Hall...



You use ~ in front of numbers such as first, second, and third.

The meeting should take place on ~ fifth of May...

Marco Polo is said to have sailed on ~ Pacific on his way to Java in ~ thirteenth century...

DET: DET ord


You use ~ in front of numbers when ~y refer to decades.

It’s sometimes hard to imagine how bad things were in ~ thirties.

DET: DET pl-num


You use ~ in front of superlative adjectives and adverbs.

Brisk daily walks are still ~ best exercise for young and old alike...

DET: DET superl


You use ~ in front of each of two comparative adjectives or adverbs when you are describing how one amount or quality changes in relation to ano~r.

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

DET: DET compar DET compar


When you express rates, prices, and measurements, you can use ~ to say how many units apply to each of ~ items being measured.

New Japanese cars averaged 13 km to ~ litre in 1981...

Some analysts predicted that ~ exchange rate would soon be $2 to ~ pound.

DET: DET sing-n


You use ~ to indicate that something or someone is ~ most famous, important, or best thing of its kind. In spoken English, you put more stress on it, and in written English, you often underline it or write it in capitals or italics.

Camden Market is ~ place to be on a Saturday or Sunday...


Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .