1. We use the to refer to nouns that have already been mentioned or when it is obvious what particular thing is being referred to.
We are sorry to receive your letter of October 30 informing us of an error in carriage changes. The error was due to an incorrect entry in our records which has now been rectified.
The letter hasnít arrived yet.
It takes 45 minutes to get to the airport from our office.
Therefore the refers to things which are definite, specific or unique:
As the focal point for trade traffic throughout region, Dubai is the gateway to commerce in the Middle Fast.2. The is not used before a noun when the noun refers to something general and unspecific and is uncountable or plural.
Time is money.3. We use the to refer to organisations such as
Industry needs good graduates.
Consultants specialise in giving advice.
She works in banking
Microchips are used to make computers
Banks provide firms with finance.
The World BankAbbreviation that have to be pronounced as single letters take the (e.g. the BBC, the CIA).
The United Nations
The White House
The Stock Exchange
5. Countries and Nationalities. The is used to refer to people belonging to nation
the Dutch6. Plural names of countries, geographical areas or island groups
the CaribbeanAs do the countries that include "kingdom" or "states"
the Far East
the United Arab Emirates
the United Kingdom7. The is not used before most countries, cities and places
the United States
ItalyBut note: The Hague, the City, the West end (of London)
Other uses of the
8. We also use the to refer to categories of things
The pound is a strong currency.Very often, an adjective is used with the to make a category or social group
The fax machine is useful office equipment.
the rich, the poor, the unemployment, the well-knownNote. These expressions are plural. However a singular noun also can define category of people: the sole trader, the venture capitalist, etc.
9. In nouns groups with the word "of", the is compulsory
the bank of England10. We use the in superlative expressions, where noun is, by definition, unique
the Board of Directors
the President of KPN
the level of productivity
Axa is the biggest European insurance company.The isnít used in the following cases
11. The is omitted before certain "places" used for their routine purpose
Heís at work.12. The is not used with personal names
He left college two years ago.
13. The is omitted before means of transport (with by)
14. The is not used before the names of meals, unless a particular meal is referred
stay for dinner
|1999. Compiled by Yuri Demchenko.||