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AEE 221: When to Use "The" at Thanksgiving Dinner: When should you use the word ‘the’ in English? Today we will show you!

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When should you use the word ‘the’ in English?
Today, in #1 of the Top 15 Fixes series, we discuss the most common article in the English language, ‘the’!
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Use if the word ‘the’ can be a confusing.  But there are some rules that can help you get it right most of the time.
 
The first requires that you consider whether the focus is on something specific, or something more general.
When focused on specific items, use ‘the’.  If you’re sitting at a table, talking about the food that is actually in front of you, you might say:

“Do you like the turkey?”
“Yes, the turkey is great!”
“Could you please pass the salt?”

When focused on more general terms, you don’t use ‘the’.  If you’re discussing food in general, you might say:

“Do you like turkey?”
“Have you tried pumpkin pie?”
“Cranberries are too tart for me.”

 
Geographical terms can also be tricky for ‘the’.  In most cases, large, well-known geographic places will have ‘the': the content, the Pacific Ocean, the moon.
With specific countries, a country’s formal name might require ‘the,’ while a less formal name might not: the United States, the Russian Federation; America, Russia.
 
Other Entries in the 15 Fixes Series:

Episode 165: Listen or Hear?
Episode 169: Speak, Talk, Tell and Say?
Episode 173: Wish vs. Hope
Episode 177: Talking About Age in English
Episode 181: Future Tense in English
Episode 185: Interested or Interesting?
Episode 189: Talking About the Past
Episode 193: How to Borrow Money
Episode 197: Who Pays for Lunch?
Episode 201: Will vs. Going To
Episode 205: Talking about People
Episode 209: How much versus How many
Episode 213: Make vs. Do
Episode 217: By Yourself vs. On Your Own

 
What have you found difficult about ‘the’?
Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

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