Two Minute English

Use of the article "the"

In this lesson we talk about the English article 'The' and how you can use it. We also illustrate the common mistakes that people make while using 'The', and give you tips on the correct usage. Watch this lesson carefully and improve your spoken English.

In this lesson we will tell you how to make use of article The in your conversations.


Ben : The in the English language is used for a particular thing or person. It signifies uniqueness and is used to identify that you are talking about something specific and not in general. 

For example 

Sheena : The Statue of liberty is near New York.

Ben : In this example we are talking about a particular statue. The statue of Liberty.

Sheena : To reach the supermarket, take left from the traffic light.

Ben : Here it is a specific traffic light, and a specific supermarket.

Sheena : The Sun is a star.

Ben : We use the before universally unique things like the Sun and the Moon.

Sheena : J K Rowling is the writer of the Harry Potter books.

Ben : We can use the to refer to a specific person, but never before names.

For example:

Sheena : The JK Rowling is a famous writer.

Ben : Since there are not many JK Rowling’s around, there is no need to use The in this sentence.

Sheena : JK Rowling is a famous writer.

Ben : This sentence is correct.

Sheena : The Japanese people are very hard working.

Ben : We are talking of people, but specifically the Japanese, so we can use The.

Sheena : The Japan is a small country.

Ben : There are not many Japans around, so we can’t use The here. This sentence is wrong. We don’t use The before proper nouns.

Sheena : Where is the washroom?

Ben : You want a specific washroom, maybe the one in the building where you are. So you have to use the.

Sheena : Could you tell me the way to the Wall-Mart?

Ben : You want to go to a particular Wall-mart, so you have to use the before it.

Sheena : The teacher gave me a lot of homework.

Ben : A specific teacher gave you a lot of homework, so you must use the. Now we will listen to some conversations that use the article the.

Getting a room

Sheena: Good evening. Can I help you?

Ben: Yes, please. I’d like a room for the night.

Sheena: Would you like a single room or a double room?

Ben: A single room. How much is the room?

Sheena: Its 55 dollars per night.

Ben: Alright, I’ll take the room.

Sheena: Sure, here’s your key. Your room number is 212 on the second floor.

Ben: Thank you.

Finding an address

Sheena: Excuse me. Could you help me in finding this address?

Ben : Yes. Which place are you looking for.

Sheena: I need to go the 135th court street.

Ben : Oh! You are going the wrong way. This is the 4th court street.

Sheena: Where should I head now?

Ben : Just take left from the Radisson hotel and follow the road ahead it will lead you to 135th court street.

Sheena: Thank you so much.

Spread the word ♥

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