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The - Shared Knowledge

Knowing "which one"

the last piece

 

 

 

5) Both See or Know Which One

UNKNOWN – A

Use a to introduce the noun.

the last pieceGive me a puzzle piece

KNOWN BECAUSE BOTH SEE OR KNOW IT – THE

Use the to refer to a noun that both see or know from context or experience.

holding puzzle piece Where does the piece go? 

We both see the piece.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The

A Unique One

 

 

 

6) It is Unique – there is only one

UNKNOWN – A

Use a if the item iis one of many.

the last pieceGive me a puzzle piece

NOT UNIQUE

a moon  (Jupiter has more than one)

a sun  (in another solar system)

a planet

a mother's son / daughter

a kitchen

a god 

a right leg (horse, spider, centipede)

a lie (There are many.)

a bee  (There are many.)

KNOWN BECAUSE IT IS UNIQUE – THE

Use the if the item is one of a kind.  Both speaker and listener know which one it is.

the last pieceWhich one?

The last piece.  

There is only one, the last piece.

UNIQUE

the moon  (earth's)

the sun  (our solar system)

the earth (the world)

the boy's mother

the kitchen of the house

the god  (God)  /

the right leg (human)

the truth (There is one.)

the queen bee (There is one per colony or hive.)

 

the gods – usually refers to those of Greek mythology or those within a particular culture (Mayan, Indian, etc.).   

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The"

Summary of Uses

 

 

 

Summary for using "the"

Link MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION CONTEXTUAL EXAMPLE

Page focus

The noun is identified by:

The is used as part of a larger context or understanding.

The-Earlier Mention   

1)  by earlier, second mention

This is a puzzle piece. The piece fits into a puzzle. 

The-Earlier Mention   

2)  by another name (synonym)

This is a puzzle piece. The parts are rather small.  (a piece = a part)

The-Included Parts   

3)  as an expected part of a larger item

This is a puzzle.  The pieces are inside the box. 

The-Later Mention 

4)  by a phrase or clause after it

The part on top is here.  /  The part that I am holding is a corner.

current page this page 

5)  by both knowing or seeing it

Hand me the piece.   (We both know or see which one.)

current page this page 

6)  by its uniqueness (It is the only one.)

Hand me the last piece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

A Unique One

 

 

Decide whether the item exists as the only one.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

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Practice 2

Identified by Being Unique 

 

 

 

Decide whether the item exists as the only one, as in the following example.

UNIDENTIFIED IDENTIFIED BY UNIQUENESS

A wife of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was visiting the University of Oxford. (He has four.)

The wife of King Gustaf of Sweden was visiting the University of Oxford. (He has one, Silvia.)

 

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

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