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What Is the Definite Article? (with Examples)

What Is the Definite Article? (with Examples)

The definite article is the word the. It is used before a noun to specify it as something previously considered.

There are two types of articles: The articles are classified as adjectives.

The is known as the definite article because it indicates something specific.

In contrast to the definite article is the indefinite article (a or an), which indicates something unspecific. Of interest, the is the most commonly used word in English.

Examples of the Definite Article

Here are some sentences which compare the use of definite and indefinite articles:
  • Can we go to the park?
  • (The park is specific. It is known to the speaker and the listener.)
  • Can we go to a park?
  • (The park is unspecific. The speaker doesn't care which one.)
  • I have found a solution to the problem.
  • (The solution is not yet known by the listener. The problem is known to the speaker and the listener.)
  • I have found a solution to a problem.
  • (This would attract a response like Good for you. What problem? The speaker's use of a tells us that the problem is not known to the listener.)
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