From Wiktionary
the is one of the 1000 most common headwords.
thank - the - then
the is on the New General Service List.


stressed, before a vowel
unstressed, before a consonant



  1. (definite) (singular & plural) (count & non-count) Used, to show that you're talking about something that your listener will not mistake for another one.
    Compare "I read a book." and "I read the book."
  2. (definite) (singular & plural) (count & non-count) Used with a stress, to show that the word following is special.
    Are you the John Smith that I went to school with?
  3. (definite) (plural) Used with an adjective that acts like a noun to mean all of the people or things concerned.
    The poor need our help.
  4. (definite) Used with superlatives forms of adjectives and adverbs.
    You are the best.


  • the is called "the definite article"