“The (Cobra)” vs. “An (elephant)”, articles with nouns denoting a class

[ 1 ] tells on p.5 that “Singular nouns denoting a class” are preceded by the definite article “THE” (Example: “The Cobra is dangerous”), while on page 7 (Table 6. THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE) it tells that “Singular countable nouns denoting a class” are preceded by indefinite articles (“An elephant never forgets”). I could not get … Read more

Omission of definite article with musical instruments

What is the rule for omitting/including the definite article in the following sentences: I used to play piano. I used to play the piano. I would pick the first sentence, but I’ve heard people say the second sentence even when they are not referring to a specific piano. Which one is correct? Answer They’re pretty … Read more

Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles?

When saying the title of JRR Tolkien’s masterpiece, which is the correct pronunciation (Yes, I know that they’re spelled wrong, but I’m trying to emphasize the pronunciation): Thuh Lord of thuh Rings Thee Lord of thee Rings Thuh Lord of thee Rings Thee Lord of thuh Rings I’m partial to the first pronunciation, but another … Read more

Which would be correct: “outputs” or “puts out”?

Which word should I use in the following context? Is the required before data? Any algorithm first reads data, processes (the) data and finally [outputs|puts out] the processed data. Answer Any algorithm first reads the data, processes the data and finally outputs the processed data. AttributionSource : Link , Question Author : stacker , Answer … Read more

Definite article with proper nouns, titles followed by a common noun

Over time I developed this rule where if a title or a proper name is followed by a common noun that represents the class of the entity I am referring to, then I use the definite article. In Example 1, the title of a publication in the first sentence is followed by the noun "whitepaper", … Read more

Are there any simple rules for choosing the definite vs. indefinite (vs. none) article?

I can’t for the life of me figure out where to use a and where to use the — and where there is no article at all. Is there a simple rule of thumb to memorize? The standard rule you always hear: “If a person knows which item you are talking about then use “the” … Read more

“The” for superlative referring to more than one object

Which one of these sentences is correct? The best countries to live in are … Best countries to live in are … EDIT: The reason this question is being asked is that this Wiktionary article says the definite article should be used with a superlative, it and that superlative refer to one object: that apple … Read more

Using “the” before ordinal numbers

When learning English I was told that ordinal numbers should always be used with “the” before them. But I often see that this is not always so strict, for example I heard the phrase “April first” instead of “April the first”. Or when installing OS Windows we could see “Setup is preparing your computer for … Read more