Strange use of "The": I need the money.


I am really puzzled by the use of “the” in the following sentences. Could you please shed some light on them?


I need money = I need any amount of money from anywhere.
I need the money = I need the amount off money that this job provides. I’m specifying the amount.

As Tom said, the amount was not specified, but the “the” was used.
That is a mystery to me, hope native English speakers tell us what’s going on.

I would request some native speaker to shed some light on it.



The article problem is fast becoming a daily or weekly one. I have tried on several occasions to give an explanation for the use of idefinite/definite and zero article. The answer has always to be the same: ‘the’ is definite and specifies even if the thing specified is not always mentioned but is understood, ‘a’ is indefinite and doesn’t specify and is really equivalent to ‘one’ (number) and no article suggests generality and is thereby often plural or abstract.


Hi Tom

With regard to the word “health”, that word is only used without ‘the’ or a possessive adjective when it is used in the very broadest of terms. Normally “health” is thought of “my/your/his/her/our/their health” or “the health of the person specified or implied” (e.g. the health of a smoker).

Hi lost_soul. You’re correct to say that an amount is not stated in the phrase “I need the money”. But whenever we use this phrase, we are thinking of, or referring to, a specific job, situation or amount.