before consonants usually t͟hə , before vowels usually t͟hē, sometimes before vowels also t͟hə; for emphasis before titles and names or to suggest uniqueness often ˈt͟hē
You are watching: The "medieval era" describes the period of history
1 —used to indicate a person or thing that has already been mentioned or seen or is clearly understood from the situation He bought a house, but this is not the house he bought.This is the restaurant I was telling you about.I”ll take the red one.Put the cat outside.The teacher gave a quiz.She”s the boss.I am telling the truth.What is the matter/problem?I”m no fool; you”re the fool for believing him.
2 —used to refer to things or people that are common in daily life We talked on the telephone for an hour.Turn on the television.She opened the windows.You need to go to the doctor.He said he put the letter in the mail yesterday.My suit is still at the dry cleaner.
3 —used to refer to things that occur in nature The sky is getting dark.A strong wind was blowing from the east.The planets revolve around the sun.Our daughter has the flu.They talked for a while about the weather.
1a —used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent is definite or has been previously specified by context or by circumstance put the cat out
b —used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent is a unique or a particular member of its class the Presidentthe Lord
c —used as a function word before nouns that designate natural phenomena or points of the compass the night is cold
d —used as a function word before a noun denoting time to indicate reference to what is present or immediate or is under consideration in the future
e —used as a function word before names of some parts of the body or of the clothing as an equivalent of a possessive adjective how”s the arm today
f —used as a function word before the name of a branch of human endeavor or proficiency the law
g —used as a function word in prepositional phrases to indicate that the noun in the phrase serves as a basis for computation sold by the dozen
h —used as a function word before a proper name (as of a ship or a well-known building) the Mayflower
i —used as a function word before a proper name to indicate the distinctive characteristics of a person or thing the John Doe that we know wouldn”t lie
j —used as a function word before the plural form of a surname to indicate all the members of a family the Johnsons
k —used as a function word before the plural form of a numeral that is a multiple of ten to denote a particular decade of a century or of a person”s life life in the twenties
l —used as a function word before the name of a commodity or any familiar appurtenance of daily life to indicate reference to the individual thing, part, or supply thought of as at hand talked on the telephone
m —used as a function word to designate one of a class as the best, most typical, best known, or most worth singling out this is the lifethe pill —sometimes used before a personal name to denote the most prominent bearer of that name
2a(1) —used as a function word with a noun modified by an adjective or by an attributive noun to limit the application of the modified noun to that specified by the adjective or by the attributive noun the right answerPeter the Great
(2) —used as a function word before an absolute adjective or an ordinal number nothing but the bestdue on the first
b(1) —used as a function word before a noun to limit its application to that specified by a succeeding element in the sentence the poet Wordsworththe days of our youthdidn”t have the time to write
(2) —used as a function word after a person”s name to indicate a characteristic trait or notorious activity specified by the succeeding noun Jack the Ripper
3a —used as a function word before a singular noun to indicate that the noun is to be understood generically the dog is a domestic animal
b —used as a function word before a singular substantivized adjective to indicate an abstract idea an essay on the sublime
4 —used as a function word before a noun or a substantivized adjective to indicate reference to a group as a whole the elite
Frequently Asked Questions About the
How do you pronounce the?
There are two main ways to pronounce this little word, based largely on what word follows it. If the is followed by a word which begins with a consonant sound (such as water), then it”s pronounced ͟hə—that is, with the same vowel sound as the word of. However, if the word following it begins with a vowel sound (such as orange), the is usually pronounced ͟hē (to rhyme with me) (but is also sometimes pronounced ͟hə, as above).
Is the the most common word in English?
Probably. Vocabulary varies from person to person, and there are likewise differences between the words used in spoken and written language, but the tends to top the list of most commonly used words found in collections of written text.
Can the be trademarked?
It can be attempted, as The Ohio State University tried to do in 2019; the school was unsuccessful in this attempt. The Ohio State was not the first entity to seek a trademark for the word the; clothing designer Marc Jacobs has also asked the patent office for a trademark on this word.
First Known Use of the
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1
15th century, in the meaning defined above
History and Etymology for the
Definite article and Preposition
Middle English, from Old English thē, masculine demonstrative pronoun & definite article, alteration (influenced by oblique cases — as thæs, genitive — & neuter, thæt) of sē; akin to Greek ho, masculine demonstrative pronoun & definite article — more at that