Article 'the' is known as definite article. Here are some rules for using definite articles. These rules can be very useful while solving common error problems in competitive exams.


Rule: Definite article ‘the’ is used when we talk about the person or thing which was mentioned earlier.

  • Shruti drew a picture. The picture was beautiful.
  • I met a boy. The boy was intelligent.
  • Give me the ball which you bought yesterday.


Rule: Definite article ‘the’ is used when a singular noun is representing a whole class.

  • The cow is a friendly animal.
  • The rose is a beautiful flower.
  • The lion is a dangerous animal.


Rule: Before the names of mountain ranges, group of islands, rivers, oceans, gulfs, desserts, forests etc.

  • The Himalayas
  • The Ganga
  • The Andamans
  • The Amazon
  • The Pacific Ocean
  • The Sahara
  • The Vrindavan Forest


Rule: Before the names of newspapers and magazines.

  • The Hindu
  • The Times of India


Rule: Before the names of religious and mythological books.

  • The Ramayana
  • The Mahabharat
  • The Bibal


Rule: Before the name of historical places.

  • The Tajmahal
  • The Lalkilla


Rule: Before the name of religious community, political party, nationality, trains, ships, government departments.

  • The Hindus
  • The BJP
  • The Shatabdi Express
  • The Income Tax department
  • The Army
  • The Indian


Rule: Before the words showing position.

  • The top
  • The bottom
  • The inside
  • The back
  • The front


Rule: ‘The’ is used in superlative degree.

  • She is the most beautiful girl in the college.
  • Usain Bolt is the fastest person on the planet.
  • He is the most sincere student in the class.


Rule: ‘The’ is used before the names of natural things.

  • The Sun
  • The Moon
  • The Planet
  • The River
  • The Mountain


Rule: ‘The’ is used before the ordinals.

  • The first
  • The second
  • The last


Rules of using indefinite articles.

Difference between definite and indefinite articles.