Sunday, September 9, 2007

English Grammar: One Use of "The"

On the way to Salcedo Market in Makati a few weeks ago, I noticed this sign "No parking from here to corner." There is a grammar mistake going on here simply because the article the was omitted.

Articles are very short words in English but omitting them when they aren't supposed to be omitted can ruin a sentence. You see, they serve to further identify nouns. In the sign I mentioned above, taking out the from the sentence makes the meaning unclear. If you read it, the "corner" being mentioned is not too specific (what corner? there are many corners in Makati after all). Note what happens though when the is added: "No parking from here to the corner." With the, the specific corner is clear. It's the one closest to what part of the street the sign is on, "here."

The rule for cases like this is simple: the is used to indicate specifically what the noun is talking about. So, "Take the cookies to the house on the corner," "I bought this from the Chinese lady in the store," and "The book entitled "Good Omens" is an excellent read."

I will be writing more about the uses of articles later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice blog!
can you also feature the right way of pronouncing " The" when it is paired with diffrent words.
I hope you understand my question.

thank you very much..