Definite Article: the
The definite article the is used when referring to a particular member of a group. The is acceptable before both singular and plural nouns.
The rules are
- Specific nouns are preceded by the.
Examples: The pizza I ate last night gave me an upset stomach. (specific pizza)
The errors in the article were minor. (specific errors)
- Nouns that refer to something unique are preceded by the.
Examples: the laws of gravity
the White House
the Department of Transportation
Note: When a noun refers to a particular class or group,
or a specific member of a class or group, the can be used to modify both correctly.
Erik Erikson studied the development and growth of the human being.
In this case we are referring to the class of human beings.
She is the only human being that I know who eats pickles with ice cream.
In this case we are referring to she, who is the only human being, rather than a class.
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