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  1. #1
    Ryan Guest

    Use of 'The' with body parts

    I have read somewhere that we usually use 'the' when we talk about body parts, for example - 'The brain is the most important organ in the body.'

    My question is: Do we also use 'the' with other body parts (in plurals) such as legs, arms, fingernails, ears, eyes, body cells, kidneys, red blood cells, etc.?

    ? The fingernails are made of a type of protein called keratin.
    ? Fingernails are made of a type of protein called keratin.

    Thanks
    Ryan

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Yes, we do use 'the' with body parts. In your example above, both could be correct in my view.
    I'm not a teacher, so please consider any advice I give in that context.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Use of 'The' with body parts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan
    I have read somewhere that we usually use 'the' when we talk about body parts, for example - 'The brain is the most important organ in the body.'

    My question is: Do we also use 'the' with other body parts (in plurals) such as legs, arms, fingernails, ears, eyes, body cells, kidneys, red blood cells, etc.?

    ? The fingernails are made of a type of protein called keratin.
    ? Fingernails are made of a type of protein called keratin.

    Thanks
    Ryan
    I agree with Red about the plurals, but would also add that when we are talking about our own body, or a specific persons, we generally use possessive adjectoives: He's been having troubles with his kidneys recently.


  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Use of 'The' with body parts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan
    I have read somewhere that we usually use 'the' when we talk about body parts, for example - 'The brain is the most important organ in the body.'

    My question is: Do we also use 'the' with other body parts (in plurals) such as legs, arms, fingernails, ears, eyes, body cells, kidneys, red blood cells, etc.?

    ? The fingernails are made of a type of protein called keratin.
    ? Fingernails are made of a type of protein called keratin.

    Thanks
    Ryan
    I agree with Red about the plurals, but would also add that when we are talking about our own body, or a specific persons, we generally use possessive adjectives: He's been having troubles with his kidneys recently.


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