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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    I wish to correct my previous question "Can "the" be considered, in today's usage, adeterminer or a definite article?" I meant to ask: Can "the" be considered, in today's usage, apronoun, and more specifically, a definite pronoun?

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    No, why would you think it could be a pronoun?
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    "The" is the definite article and a determiner. It is not considered a pronoun of any kind.

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    #4

    Re: "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    Can you come up with an example where it could be realistically viewed as a pronoun?

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    #5

    Lightbulb Re: "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    Thank you all for your answers!

    I am well aware of the fact that “the” is usually considered a definite article, or used as an adjective and an adverb. I recently read an article in a community weekly magazine in which the teacher of an English college cited `` the`` as a definite pronoun and listed along with other kinds of pronouns in explaining the use of pronouns and conjunctions. He also gave an example that does not seem to support that assertion. The example is similar to ``In China, all of the English teachers are basically Chinese.`` The definite article in that example is hardly a pronoun. I was shaking my head to figure out and decided to do some research on the use of the word ``the`` in modern and old English. I, of course, failed to find any mention that ``the`` was ever used or considered a pronoun.

    I therefore come to our Forum for help before I wish to speak to the teacher to ask for a clarification. I will keep you posted as to his response.

    Again your input is most appreciated.

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    #6

    Re: "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    Where have you seen "the" used as an adverb?

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    #7

    Re: "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Where have you seen "the" used as an adverb?
    If you look up any dictionaries, you will see examples of “the” used as an adverb, as in “the more the merrier.” It is even used as a preposition as in, “a dollar the dozen.”

    I kind of looked at that example again as given in the article; I got a feeling it is the word “all” that is the definite pronoun, not the “the” the teacher referred to. I believe it is a misprint. What do you think?
    Last edited by lma1; 12-Jan-2016 at 07:04.

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    #8

    Re: "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    If you are talking about "all of the teachers", "all" is a pronoun; "the" is a determiner.

    I saw the examples in dictionaries, but I don't buy "the" as an adverb. Dictionaries sometimes misclassify words simply because they don't know what to call them. I also don't buy the preposition classification. In "a dollar the dozen", the real preposition is an understood "for".

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    #9

    Re: "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    Quote Originally Posted by lma1 View Post
    He also gave an example that does not seem to support that assertion. The example is similar to ``In China, all of the English teachers are basically Chinese.`` The definite article in that example is hardly a pronoun.
    Not even close to one for me.

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    #10

    Re: "The" as a Definite Pronoun

    Quote Originally Posted by lma1 View Post
    I, of course, failed to find any mention that ``the`` was ever used or considered a pronoun.


    .
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Ima:

    I have found some information that may interest you.

    " 'The' is in late Old English ___ [I cannot post the Old English spelling], the masculine form of the demonstrative pronoun [my emphasis] ___ [I cannot post the Old English spelling] (pronounced much like its modern form of the demonstrative 'that.') "

    The book continues:

    " 'The' is still in meaning a weakened form of the demonstrative 'that.' "

    The book says that "The man on the corner" nearly equals "That man on the corner."

    In "Are you the singer?" "the" has demonstrative force when emphasized or stressed."



    Complete credit goes to Homer C. White and Susan Emolyn Harman in their Descriptive English Grammar (1931), page 76.

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