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    Why -the?

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    Why -the?
    Message from juliak posted on 17-12-2009 at 18:27:45 (D | E | F)

    Hello everybody!
    I found some information on the definite article, it says that i should use "a" when speaking in general, for example "a book is a number of printed pages bound together", but the rule says that if the word has the meaning of "a kind" then i should use "the" for example "the telephone is a modern convenience". Isn't is the same with "the book"????

    Re: Why -the? from eugen, posted on 17-12-2009 at 20:33:12 (D | E)
    Hi, juliak.
    a = indefinite article. (not a specific object) I work in a factory.
    the = definite article. (a specific object that both, the person speaking
    and the listener know) The car over there is fast.
    In your example I think you must write: A telephone is a modern convenience.

    Re: Why -the? from seb06000, posted on 17-12-2009 at 20:45:22 (D | E)
    In fact,

    you can also use ' The' in your example. 'the' refers to an element which is taken from a whole category, among all this one is...:

    e.g: The telephone is a modern convenience => among many convenient objects, there is the phone => there is an extraction from a whole group

    Another example:

    The lion is a ferocious animal => you have a lot of ferocious animals (on earth) and the lion is part of them

    I hope I made myself clear!



    Edited by seb06000 on 17-12-2009 20:46

    Re: Why -the? from traviskidd, posted on 17-12-2009 at 21:39:32 (D | E)

    You can use "the" to talk about one object which represents all such objects. For example:

    - The telephone is a modern invention.
    - The lion is the king of the jungle.
    - The pen is mightier than the sword.
    - The early bird gets the worm.

    This use of "the" is especially common when talking about musical instruments one can play:

    - I can play the piano, the guitar, the trombone, and the cello!!

    See you!

    Re: Why -the? from juliak, posted on 18-12-2009 at 12:48:25 (D | E)
    Thanks for your replies!!!!!

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