Unit 68. The (1)
For the difference between the
see Unit 67
We say the… when there is only one of something:
What is the longest river in the world? (There is only one longest river in the world.)
We went to the most expensive restaurant in town.
The only television program she watches is the news.
Paris is the capital of France.
Everybody left at the end of the meeting.
The earth goes around the sun. (also: the moon / the world / the universe)
Would you rather live in the city or in the country?
Don’t sit on the ground! It’s wet.
We looked up at all the stars in the sky.
We say: the sea the sky the ground the city / the country
We say go to sea / be at sea (without the) when the meaning is go/be on a voyage:
? Ken is a seaman. He spends most of his life at sea.
but: I would love to live near the sea. (not near sea)
We say space (not the space) when we mean space in the universe:
There are millions of stars in space, (not in the space)
but: He tried to park his car, but the space wasn’t big enough.
We went to the movies last night.
Do you often go to the theater?
Movies theater radio television
We say the movies / the theater:
Note that when we say the theater, we do not necessarily mean one particular theater.
We usually say the radio:
? We often listen to the radio. I heard the news on the radio.
We often watch television. I watched the news on television.
But we usually say television (without the):
but: Can you turn off the television, please? (= the television set)
What time is lunch?
We had dinner in a restaurant.
What did you have for breakfast?
Ann invited me to (or for) dinner. But we say a meal:
We had a meal in a restaurant.
Meals: We do not normally use the with the names of meals:
We also say a when there is an adjective before lunch/breakfast, etc.
Thank you. That was a very nice lunch, (not that was very nice lunch)
For more information about the see Units 67 and 69, 70, 71, 72, 73.