The – Shared Knowledge

Refer to something that is already known

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"

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  (earth's)

the earth (the world)

the boy's mother

the kitchen of the house

the god  (God)  (unique to a particular religion)

the right leg (unique to a human)

the truth (There is one.)

the queen bee (unique to a hive)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The"

Summary of Uses

 

 

 

Ways a noun can be identified (known)

A  — UNIDENTIFIED / FIRST MENTION

A is used the first time we mention a noun.

FIRST MENTION

This is a puzzle piece.

FIRST MENTION

This is a puzzle piece.

FIRST MENTION

This is a puzzle

FIRST MENTION

A piece goes in the upper right corner.

FIRST MENTION

Hand me a piece.   (any piece)

 

FIRST MENTION

"Hand me a piece."

"There's only one left."

THE  — IDENTIFIED / SECOND MENTION

The is used when both the speaker and listener know "which one".  The following are examples of ways in which a noun becomes identified in the context.

SECOND MENTION

The piece fits into a puzzle.

ALREADY MENTIOND BY ANOTHER NAME

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

EXPECTED PART OF AN ALREADY MENTIONED ITEM

The pieces are inside the puzzle box. 

IDENTIFYING PHRASE OR CLAUSE

The piece with two flat edges goes in the corner.

The piece that I am holding is a corner piece.

BOTH SEE OR KNOW WHICH ONE

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

UNIQUENESS

Hand me the last piece (There is no other one like it.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Identified by Being Unique 

 

 

 

Determine whether the noun is unique.  (Use the if so.)

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

 

9.

10.

11.
avocado seed

12.
tomato seeds