Usage of Article “THE” in English Grammar

By Sandeep Baliyan|Updated : March 6th, 2017

Today, we are providing rules on the Usage of Article "The" in English Grammar. These rules will fulfill 2 -3 questions which  comes in SSC Exam like SSC CGL & SSC MTS Exams.

Rule 1: "The" is used before the parts of the body which are used in place of possessive Adjectives

  • Don't strike her on head  ✘
  • Don't strike her on the head  
  • She caught me by hand  ✘
  • She caught me by the hand  
  • He pulled him by leg  ✘
  • He pulled him by the leg.  

Rule 2:  Before a noun denoting a hospital, temple, school, college, prison etc. If its purpose or use is not referred to or say if used not in its primary purpose.

Examples:  He has gone to the hospital to visit a friend, Where he is employed. (Here he went to hospital to meet his friend not because of illness)

Rule 3:  Before an adjective in the superlative degree.


  • Michael is the tallest boy in the class.  ✘
  • Michael is the tallest boy in the class  

Rule 4:  Before an adjective in the comparative degree, when the selection of one out of only two persons.


  • Nalini is more beautiful of the two girls in the class.  ✘
  • Nalini is the more beautiful of the two girls in the class.  

Rule 5:  With nouns indicating what is unique. (there is no second one)

Examples:  the sun, the moon, the sky, the earth, the equator etc.

Rule 6:  The is used before certain adjectives to give a plural meaning.  The rich, The poor, The dead, The sick, The healthy, The deaf, The blind etc.

The rich = rich people

 The poor = poor people


  • Rich hate poor  ✘
  • The rich hate the poor  
  •  Wise think before they speak  ✘
  • The wise think before they speak  

Rule 7: With certain adjectives indicating nationality.  The spanish means spanish people

Examples:  the English, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Chinese, the Burmese etc.

Rule 8:  Before ‘only’ and ordinal numbers, such first, second, millionth etc. and adjectives of number.


  • All the students of  first year are invited.  ✘
  • All the students of the first year are invited  
  • Second example is not correct  ✘
  • The second example is not correct.  
  • He is only one in the class who got selected for Google.  ✘
  • He is the only one in the class who got selected for Google.  
  • Today is sixth day of the month  ✘
  • Today is the sixth day of the month  

Rule 9:  Before a noun when special emphasis is needed.


  • This is the novel I am talking about.  (not any novel, but a particular novel)

Rule 10 Before the proper names of certain well-known or scared books.

Examples:   the Mahabharat, the Ramayana, the Gita, the Bible, the Quran

Rule 11: Before the names of certain countries each of which is a union of smaller units.

Examples:   the U.S.A., the U.A.E., and U.S.S.R etc.

Rule 12:  Before north, south etc when these are used as nouns.

Examples:   the north of India, the Middle East, the West Asia

Rule 13:  Before the names of political parties.

Example:  the BJP, the Congress

Rule 14:  When it is clear from the context that a particular person, place or thing is meant.


  1. I talked to the Principal yesterday. (Both speaker and listener knew who is principal)
  2. The students are playing in the garden.

Rule 15:  Before the dates of months.


  •  the 23 October, 1949, the 15th August, 1947, etc.,

Rule 16: When we are talking about physical environment and climate, we use "the".  The suggests everybody is familiar what we are talking about.

  • My wife likes the seaside, but I prefer the mountainside
  • I love listening to the wind.

Rule 17:  We use "the"  when we talk about some kinds of things that are part of everybody's lives.  Here "the bus" does not mean 'one bus that you know about'. We use "the" to suggest that taking a  bus is a common experience that we all share.

  • I got some great idea when I am on the bus
  • Do you sing in the bath?
  • I've stopped reading the newspaper because its too depressing

Click here For Article "A and An".


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