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Section 11.8.1

Definite Articles

The definite article the signals to the reader that the noun is specific, not arbitrary, and not new to thereader.


The Greenhouse Effect is a theory in environmentalscience which warns of the warming of theglobe due to an increase in carbon dioxide in theatmosphere. [Only one Greenhouse Effect, one globe, and oneatmosphere are assumed to exist; the context of the globe serves tomake the warming unique.]

Use a definite article if you intend a singular nounto refer to an entire class of items. Using a definite article with a singularnoun in this way is particularly common with species of animals, inventions, ormusical instruments.


The farm alligator is more dangerous than thewild alligator because the farm alligator does notfear humans.

--"Take It or Leave It," Valley Comic News (modified)


See Usage Rules for Articles for further informationabout how definite articles are used in sentences.

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