usage of the

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Hi, I was wondering if someone could tell me the general rules of using "the". I was taught that when something is mentioned for the first time in a paper, "a/an" should be used and after that, that something should be referred to using "the", but this rule seems too easy and too vague.

Greatly appreciated!!
 

Casiopea

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[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]See below, and click here to read more.:-D [/font]

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Article Usage said:
[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Definiteness [/font][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A noun is definite if it refers to something specific that is known to both the writer/speaker and the reader/listener. (Note: You should memorize this definition!) For example, if Jane needs to drive somewhere, she might ask her father, "May I use the car?" She uses the definite article the because both she and her father know which car Jane is referring to (the family car). But later Jane might say to her friend Bill, "I saw a funny-looking dog today." She uses the indefinite article a because she knows which dog she saw, but Bill doesn't. [/font]
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