Articles – 10 Minute Grammar

  • We generally do not use ‘The’ before abstract nouns unless they are described in a particular sense:
    1. Men respect life and fear death. (abstract noun)
    1. The death of his father shattered the entire family. (used in a particular sense)
  • Before names of games: Cricket, Tennis, Golf
  • When we say something about or describing nature, where it means the spirit creating and motivating the world of animals and plants etc.
    1. If you do not take care of nature now, your next generation will suffer for it.
    1. I think Mother Nature is going through a worse phase because of global warming.
  • Home: When we use home alone in a sentence i.e, is not preceded or followed by a phrase or descriptive word, the is omitted:
  1. She is at home now. You can go and see her.
    1. She went home early.
    1. My brother arrived home after dark.
  2. Court, church/temple/synagogue/mosque, bed, hospital, prison, school/college/university:

We do not use the before the nouns listed above when these places are visited or used for their primary purpose.

  1. My mother usually goes to bed before 11. (her sleeping pattern)
    1. Let’s meet at church/temple/synagogue/mosque. (for prayer)
    1. When the litigant reached court, he realized leaving important papers behind. (in the case matter)
    1. While returning from school, we decided to visit the dog shelter. ( from school after studying)
  2. Sea: As a sailor when you go to sea, the is omitted. Or maybe as passengers or crew, we omit the.
    1. The commanding officer is going to sea next month and replace his colleague.
    1. I still remember we were at sea last year this time.

However, when we live near the sea or seaside, we do not omit the.

  • Work and office:
    • She is on her way to work.
    • Men are at work.
    • We are getting delayed for a movie because Alex has not returned from work yet.

Office ( a place of work) requires the: Please call me afterward as she is not in the office.

To be in office without the means to hold an official post.

  • Town: Are you in town tomorrow? Oh yes, you can drop in. ( it does not come with the)

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