GYG Day 51. The thing with ‘the’.

When to use it, and when not? Seems easy enough at first glance – but deep down, it isn’t all that straightforward. Here’s a quick overview, when and when not.

I guess it makes sense to start with when:

  1. Before a noun that has been mentioned before, that is known or assumed, or that is very specific: “I bought the book you recommended.”
  2. Before specific nouns, including the sky; the environment; the world; the country; the ground, the sea/ocean, the cinema
  3. Before certain times of the day, including the morning; the afternoon. the evening BUT (at noon and at night)
  4. Before a singular noun that is used generically: e.g. “The dollar has fallen in value against the euro.”
  5. Before a collective noun that looks like an adjective and describes a group of people: e.g. “The unemployed need our assistance.” But “Unemployed people need our assistance”.
  6. Before place-names containing the “state(s), kingdom, republic, union” and before the names of rivers: The Czech Republic, the United Kingdom. e.g.” The new office is near the Thames”.

When not

  1. Before nouns when talking in general terms: e.g. “Crime is a real problem in this neighbourhood” or “People work hard for their living.”
  2. Before uncountable nouns: I have the information that might help.
  3. Before ‘work’ and ‘home’ in most contexts: e.g. “Dave didn’t go to work last week”. BUT “The work I do is great fun and fulfilling”.
  4. Before individual institutions when used as concepts: “I attended university/college in Birmingham.”
  5. Before a noun and number combination: “I’m in room 213/on extension 145/ on page 217.
  6. Before the names of months, days, certain times of the day and meals: e.g.” After lunch, we resumed the negotiations. ” BUT “I ate a large dinner yesterday”.

Oh and then there’s the thing with THE pronunciation. Here I’d like to hand over to Gill. Over to you, Gill ….. https://youtu.be/d3zMxYQC0TM

at first glance (auf den ersten Blick), straightforward (unkompliziert), to assume (vermüten), to resume the negotiations (verhandlungen wiederaufnehmen)

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