A friend called. / *Friend called.
This / that friend called.
These / those / some / three friends called.
A hair is on your sweater.
Hair makes a guy look young.
Making a violin requires more than technical knowledge. (unspecific – any one)
We gave a violin to the music school. (specific)
A comet appears to have a tail as it streaks through the sky.(unspecific)
A comet was seen in the western sky last night. (specific)
This is a global business. /ˈg/
This is an electronic business. /ɪ/
The company has an NIH grant. /ˈɛn/
The director has a university e-mail address./ˌyu/
The director has an unlisted e-mail address. /ʌn/
Dogs are descended from wolves.
The dog is descended from the wolf. (scientific & reference books)
Salami is very salty. (indefinite – all in general)
The salami I just cut is very salty. (definite–this one)
The lion sleeps much of the day. (indefinite– all in general)
A lion sleeps much of the day. (any one as an example)
This is a puzzle piece. The piece fits into a puzzle.
(first mention) (second mention)
This is a puzzle. The pieces are inside the box.
(first mention) — (an expected part of an already mentioned item)
The part on top is here. (identified by modifier)
The part that I am holding is a corner. (ident. by clause)
The part you see is a corner. (ident. by clause)
Hand me the piece. (ident. by both see or know it)
Hand me the last piece. (ident. by being unique, the only one)
He is an Englishman. (unspecific)
He is English. (adjective of nationality)
The English are northern people. (specific nationality)
The blind need accessible walkways.
The English were proud of their team.
Do you want a large or small coffee. I'll have the large.
The latter will be much better. In fact, it's the best.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a beautiful landmark. (specific)
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I live on the Peninsula.
I live in the coastal hills.
She lives in France.
I live in the United States of America.
He lives in the Netherlands.
He is the most convincing actor of all.
He is the least likable character in the film.
It was the saddest movie ever.
She ate one. (a cookie)
Then she ate another. (one more)
Then she ate the others. (the rest of the group)
She ate other cookies. (not these)
The kids who are starting college this fall across nation were born in 1994.
They do not remember .....
"Chez Panisse Café " is a less-expensive alternative to Alice Waters' restaurant "Chez Panisse".
This blue marble is mine. (determiner)
This marble is mine. (determiner)
This is mine. (pronoun)
The more we saw, the less we could believe.
The bigger, the better.
Most students ask
Most of the students in my English class ask questions.
A number of the students in my class ask questions.
The number of the students who ask questions is low.
We bought a sack, a bag, a box of rice.
I'd like a glass, a bottle, a gallon, a liter of milk.
We bought a stalk of celery, a spear of asparagus, a head of lettuce, a wheel of cheese, an ear of corn, a cube of ice, a bar of chocolate.
a pork chop, a beef steak, a roast lamb, a leg of lamb, a ham
Beef comes from a steer. Veal comes from a calf.
Our dog is barking at other dogs. (determiner)
Their dogs are running away.
Your dog dislikes getting wet.
The paparazzi made its purpose clear. It had a right to be outside her house.
The paparazzi placed their cameras right in her face. They were rude, even mean.