[General] The article "the" in general.

arjitsharma

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I have heard some people use "the" when they are not talking about a particular thing like in the followings?
1. Use the sun screen to prevent yourself from getting tan.
2. I am calling the taxi.
3. We cannot sleep without the bed.
4. You sound like the peacock.
Please explain me how can I use "the" in general.
 

emsr2d2

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I have heard some people use "the" when they are not talking about a particular thing like in the followings?
1. Use [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] sunscreen to prevent yourself from getting a tan.
(Note that most people use sunscreen to avoid getting sunburn while still getting a tan.)

2. I am calling [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] a taxi.

3. We cannot sleep without [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] a bed.
(The definite article is possible if you are talking about one specific bed which has already been identified.)

4. You sound like [strike]the[/strike] a peacock.
(The definite article is only possible is the listener/reader already knows which specific peacock you're referring to.)

Please explain me how can I use "the" in general.

See above.
 

arjitsharma

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May be in American English "the" is used to refer something in general?
 

GoesStation

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May be in American English "the" is used to refer something in general?
Only in some specific circumstances: The rat thrives in modern urban environments. Every variety of English uses no article (sentence 1) or the indefinite article (the other sentences) in the sample sentences in post #1.
 
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