The article the is a determiner in a sentence when placed before a noun or a noun phrase. It is called a definite article as it points to a particular person or thing being mentioned in the sentence. It can be used before a singular or a plural noun, and before a countable and an uncountable noun.


We use the determiner the:


to refer to people or things which we know because they have already been mentioned.


  • I recognize that man. He's the one who is doing great magic at the marketplace. 
  • Over there is a cave. There are countless bats roosting in the cave. 



to refer to a person or thing when there is only one.


  • He is the boss of the company producing pencils.
  • The flood occurred only in the east coast of the country.



before superlatives, words such as firstonly, etc.


  • Peacocks have the most beautiful feathers.
  • The first runner to cross the finishing line was a skinny man.
  • This duckling is the only pet I have.



before adjectives that act as nouns.  


  • Sometimes I hate myself for dreaming the impossible.
  • They buried the dead wherever they found them.



before a singular noun that is representative of a group of similar people or things.


  • A large and flightless bird, the dodo is now extinct.
  • The satellite has many uses, the most important of which I think is the transmission of information. 



before proper nouns.


  • The Robinsons are the latest members of the ghost-hunting club.
  • The Niagara Falls is the largest waterfall in the world.