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What does the word the mean?

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"The" is the definite article, used before a noun with a specifying or particularizing effect, as opposed to the indefinite or generalizing force of the indefinite article a or an).
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The word "the" in English is an article (sometimes called a determiner), the definite article.
  • The definite article is placed before a noun to indicate that the noun that follows is a specific person or thing.

The indefinite articles are "a" and "an", used to indicate that the noun that follows is not a specific person or thing.
  • The article "a" is used before a word beginning with a consonant sound;
  • The article "an" is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound.

Example uses:
  • I met the author of the book at a book signing. (a specific author)
  • I met the author of the book at a book signing. (a specific book)
  • I met the author of the book at a book signing. (an unspecified book signing)
  • I met the author of the book at the book signing at Bookmart last month. (a specific book signing)
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