How to use the word 'the' in the formal English articles?

Can anyone please explain how to use the word ‘the’ to me for writing essays?

My tutors in the university always say I mess up with the word ‘the’ in my essays. Sometimes they say I should add more ‘the’ in my essay, but sometime they say I’ve put too many ‘the’ in the essay. I’m really confused about this word, can native speakers help me out, please?

You had better consult a good grammar book.
That’s about all!

Yea. I will buy one. But in the meantime I’m just wondering if there is any simple way to explain it? like basically where I should put this world and where I shouldn’t?


The definite article “THE” should be only used to refer to a specific thing/place or person of renown, like the Queen, the Internet, the British isles, because these are the names of things or people of note or of world-wide fame.

You can say, “He ate the apple.” (This apple was the only apple in the bowl,) otherwise you would say, “He has eaten an apple.” (indefinite article.) or, “He likes to eat apples.” The “THE” is only used for a SPECIFIC item.