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Using English Articles (#7), by Dennis Oliver

 

Using English Articles (#7)

 

Because the English articles (a, an, the) are often very
challenging for learners of the language, the next several
Hints will provide guidelines on their usage.

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The Definite Article The (#5)

 


Another use for the definite article the happens when
the superlative form of adjectives (adjective + -est or
most + adjective) is used with a noun. In this situation,
the is used as part of the superlative form.

Examples:


Joe is the tallest person in our class.

*****

Basem and Johara are two of the nicest people I know.

*****

Bill wants to buy the fastest car that he can afford.

*****

The most intelligent people are not necessarily the
ones with the highest grades.

*****

What's the most expensive city in the world?

*****

When's the earliest time that you can be there?

*****

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!

*****

That test gets gradually more and more difficult.
The most difficult questions are at the end.

*****

Your cake is wonderful, Lety! It's the best cake
I've ever eaten!

*****

I'm about to run out of gas. Where's the closest
filling station?


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Special Note:

The definite article the is also used with the superlative
form of adverbs:

Everyone did well, but Eduardo did the best.

All the runners in the race ran fast, but Jean-Luc ran
the fastest.

All the speakers argued convincingly, but Ya-wen
argued the most convincingly.


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Next: more on articles
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