Use and Omission of the Definite Article in English

Below the rules for using definite article with examples are listed – 

Rule 1: When the speaker speaks about a particular person or thing, definite article is used before the noun. e.g.

  • The dog is barking from the morning. 
  • The professor is teaching literature. 

Rule 2: When singular noun is used to represent a group. e.g.

  • The tiger is a fierce animal. 
  • The Ku Klux Klan was a racist and violent group. 

Rule 3: Definite article can be used before proper noun. e.g.

The Indian Ocean, the Sun, the moon, etc.

Rule 4: Before adjective and superlative degree. e.g.

The best player, the most beautiful, the great king Ashoka etc. 

Rule 5: Used as an adverb in comparative degree. e.g.

the more we earn, the more we spend. 

Rule 6: Definite article is used with ordinals. e.g.

  • He is the first student to arrive at school. 
  • This is the fifth time you lied to me. 

Rule 7: Before the name of specific books. e.g.

the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, etc.