Use of article, specially 'the'

Often I find myself in difficulties to decide the right article. Is there any website reference that you know of?
Appreciate your help.

Hi Zubayer,

Have a look on this site under esl lessons for

‘the’ vs. ‘a/an’ in the index and look at some notes and a story I have written on the topic.

It may help


Why do we say “The USA” if it the name of the country?

Thank you.


Geographical use of “the”
There are some specific rules for using the with geographical nouns.

Do not use the before:

names of most countries/territories: Italy, Mexico, Bolivia; however, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, the United States [color=darkblue]([size=75]Ukraine used to be the Ukraine too, but then the Ukrainians changed the rules. I say “The Ukraine,” because that’s how I learned it.[/size])
names of cities, towns, or states: Seoul, Manitoba, Miami
names of streets: Washington Blvd., Main St.
names of lakes and bays: Lake Titicaca, Lake Erie except with a group of lakes like the Great Lakes
names of mountains: Mount Everest, Mount Fuji except with ranges of mountains like the Andes or the Rockies or unusual names like the Matterhorn
names of continents (Asia, Europe)
names of islands (Easter Island, Maui, Key West) except with island chains like the Aleutians, the Hebrides, or the Canary Islands

Do use the before:

names of rivers, oceans and seas: the Nile, the Pacific
points on the globe: the Equator, the North Pole
geographical areas: the Middle East, the West
deserts, forests, gulfs, and peninsulas: the Sahara, the Persian Gulf, the Black Forest, the Iberian Peninsula

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The best recommendation I can ever give for learning and internalizing the proper usage of articles is quite simple: reading. Pure and simple reading. Accompany that with writing, and over time you’ll see your article usage improve steadily. My best students, Russians who’ve had the same amounts and kinds of teaching as have other students with far shakier grasps of articles, all know English articles almost the same as if they were native speakers. When I interrogated them (without torture or cigar smoke blown into the eyes ;-)) about what made the difference, all of them had a frequent habit of reading extensively in English, and never ever just those wicked coursebooks that had been assigned to them. No. The real stuff. Good stuff, like novels and magazines and business books in English. Of course most students have a million and one reasons why they don’t have time for this kind of reading, and so, their English progress more often than not just languishes, despite trying to memorize tables, buying new “wonder method” English books, and so on.

Reading is the answer to so very many questions :slight_smile:


How very true, but knowing the rules will not hurt either.

Actually, it can hurt, and I have had a number of students who could attest to that. In Russian schools, grammar-focused memorization is steadily and forcefully hammered into the minds of young souls, with the result that despite 6 to 8 years of English, and sometimes even more, many of these students can barely utter a few sentences of English, and often have great trouble when it comes to listening comprehension. Grammar tables and article rules are excellent for reference, and only for that, to be used to quench the fires of curiosity as they flame up during the natural course of learning, but not as a well to drink deeply from. My best students never memorized any list of article rules - I know, I’ve questioned them up and down about it.

But, there are many different kinds of birds in this world, and perhaps there are some who must grasp tightly to the feathers of memorization if they are to fly through English skies. Just maybe :slight_smile:

i hope that zubair take the answer
and i am take the information

thanx 4 your answer
i hope zubair take it