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See also thé, thè, thẻ, thê, thề, thể, thế, and þe

English

Etymology

From Old English demonstrative pronoun þe, a late variant of se, originally masculine nominative, but in Middle English superceding all previous Old English forms (se, sēo, þæt).

Pronunciation

Article

the

  1. Definite grammatical article that implies necessarily that the entity it articulates is presupposed; something already mentioned, or completely specified later in the same sentence, or assumed already completely specified. Compare I’m reading a book with I’m reading the book.
    The street in front of your house. (But compare a street in Paris)
    The men and women watched the man give the birdseed to the bird.
  2. When stressed, indicates that the object in question is considered to be best or exclusively worthy of attention.
    That is the hospital to go to for heart surgery.
  3. Indicates all persons to whom an adjectival noun applies.
    Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.
  4. With a superlative, indicates the person or thing to which the superlative applies.
    That apple pie was the best.
  5. Used as an alternative to a possessive pronoun before body parts.
    A stone hit him on the head. ( = “A stone hit him on his head.”)
  6. Used with the name of a member of a class to refer to all things in that class.
    The cat is a solitary creature. ( = “All cats are solitary creatures.”)

Quotations

Usage notes

Trivia

  • The word “the” is the most common word in the English language.

Derived terms

Translations

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Adverb

the

  1. With a comparative or more and a verb phrase, establishes a parallel with one or more other such comparatives.
    The hotter, the better.
    The more I think about it, the weaker it looks.
    The more money donated, the more books purchased and the more happy children.
    It looks weaker and weaker, the more I think about it.
  2. With a comparative, and often with for it, indicates a result in the direction of the comparative. This can be negated with none.
    It was a difficult time, but I’m the wiser for it.
    It was a difficult time, and I’m none the wiser for it.

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also


Irish

Pronunciation

Adjective

the

  1. Mutated form of te.

Murrinh-Patha

Noun

the

  1. Ear.

See also

  • ye (incorporated noun)

References

Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages by Mark Abley (2003)


Swedish

Noun

the

  1. Alternative spelling of te. (tea)

Elsewhere on the web

En-En

En-It

En-Fr

En-El

En-Sp

En-Mul

En-De

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Last modified on 11 November 2008, at 14:12