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  1. #1
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    Unhappy the use of "the" by ESL student

    I am helping two older students from India with their English skills. I have noticed they consistently forget to put the article "the" in their sentences. Any thoughts on how to explain and encourage them to put this into their written work?

    Thank you Peggy

  2. #2
    Dany's Avatar
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    Default Re: the use of "the" by ESL student

    Hello Piggy,

    here are 12 rules of using "the". I hope that this will help you


    1.) Used before singular or plural nouns and noun phrases that denote particular, specified persons or things: the baby; the dress I wore.

    2.) Used before a noun, and generally stressed, to emphasize one of a group or type as the most outstanding or prominent: considered Lake Shore Drive to be the neighborhood to live in these days.

    3.) Used to indicate uniqueness: the Prince of Wales; the moon.

    4.) Used before nouns that designate natural phenomena or points of the compass: the weather; a wind from the south.

    5.) Used as the equivalent of a possessive adjective before names of some parts of the body: grab him by the neck; an infection of the hand.

    6.) Used before a noun specifying a field of endeavor: the law; the film industry; the stage.

    7.) Used before a proper name, as of a monument or ship: the Alamo; the Titanic.

    8.) Used before the plural form of a numeral denoting a specific decade of a century or of a life span: rural life in the Thirties.

    9.) Used before a singular noun indicating that the noun is generic: The wolf is an endangered species.

    10.) Used before an adjective extending it to signify a class and giving it the function of a noun: the rich; the dead; the homeless.

    11.) Used before an absolute adjective: the best we can offer.

    11.) Used before a present participle, signifying the action in the abstract: the weaving of rugs.

    12.) Used before a noun with the force of per: cherries at $1.50 the box.


    Best regards,
    Dany

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: the use of "the" by ESL student

    Speakers whose language doesn't have articles often finds 'the' an enormously diificult word, and they either omit it where necessary or use it where not. It can take a long time. Developing a sense for it requires a lot of input (reading) and practice, plus an analysis of errors.

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    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: the use of "the" by ESL student

    It's one of the biggest problems I faced when I began to learn Chinese - there is no definite article.

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    Default Re: the use of "the" by ESL student

    Quote Originally Posted by shane
    It's one of the biggest problems I faced when I began to learn Chinese - there is no definite article.
    Hello Shane,

    is it very hard to learn chinese? How long do you learn Chinese? I ask you, because I also think about to learn this language. How do you learn the writing language, is it like to learn vocabulary?

    Best regards,
    Dany

  6. #6
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: the use of "the" by ESL student

    Hi Dany,
    Chinese is difficult in some respects, and relatively straightforward in others. The writing is pretty tough to learn, as it's basically a series of drawings, and each 'stroke' has a set order. To complicate things, some characters are almost identical save for one stroke.

    Oral Chinese can be a bit tough, as there are four tones (in Mandarin, anyway), so each word can have four meanings, depending on how it is pronounced.

    So how is it easier? Well, generally speaking, Chinese doesn't use tense, so there's no need to learn different forms of verbs! But, there's no the.

  7. #7
    Dany's Avatar
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    Default Re: the use of "the" by ESL student

    Oh, I see. It will be a big challange to learn this language. Unfortunetly, in Germany there are no schools where you can learn it. You can only learn it by distance learning. So it is much harder. Maybe in few years you have the possibility to learn it in school. It seems that it is better to wait.

    Thanks for your answer Have a nice day!

    Best regards,
    Dany

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