“The” or no “The”?

“The” is a very common word in English. We use it all the time! Sometimes we need to use “the.” Sometimes we don’t. Make sure you use “the” correctly.

Here are some examples of when NOT to use “the”:

NO (incorrect)

YES (correct)


The my friend is nice. 

I go to see the my friend.

My friend is nice. 

I go to see my friend.

You don’t use the + a possessive adjective (my, your, his, her, our, their) 

Use “the” OR use “my.” Don’t use both.

I go to class on the Tuesday. I go to class on Tuesday. Days of the week don’t use “the.”
She goes to sleep at the 10:00 in the night. She goes to sleep at 10:00 at night. Times of day don’t use “the.” 

“In the night” is incorrect. “At night” is correct.

The Maria is my friend. Maria is my friend. Don’t use “the” with names.
The January is cold. 

The 2015 is a good year.

January is cold. 

2015 is a good year.

Don’t use “the” with months or years.
I go to the shopping.I go to the home.


I go to the work.

I go to the class/the school.


I go shopping.I go home.


(****”go to shopping” and “go to home” is incorrect****)
I go to work.

I go to class/to school.

“Shopping,” “home,” “work,” “class,” and “school” don’t need “the.”
The coffee is delicious.I eat the lunch at the Wendy’s.

I like to listen to the music.


Coffee is delicious.I eat lunch at Wendy’s.

I like to listen to music.


General things don’t use “the.” Names of restaurants don’t use “the.”

This article has more information on when NOT to use “the.” It’s very helpful!

This post has information on “the” vs. “a/an.”

Let’s practice! Are the following sentences correct or incorrect? If they are not correct, please write them correctly.

1. The flowers are on the table.

2. The my feet are cold.

3. The children are playing the games.

4. We go to the school every day and study the English.

5. The boys are watching TV.

6. Let’s go shopping tomorrow.

7. The James and the John are cute.

8. The chair is black.

9. The my computer is old.

10. We go to the Wal-Mart on the Tuesday.

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