We use the
- with countries or place where the name refers to a group of islands or states: The United States, the Middle East, the UK
- with superlatives: the best, the longest, the highest
- with cardinal numbers: the first, the second, the third
- when there is only one in the world: the environment, the internet, the sun
- to refer to the only one in this particular area: the government, the police, the river
- in the phrase: the same as
We don’t use the
- with a single country or place: America, England, China
- to talk about something in general. We use the plural if we are talking about something in general; we use the to identify one specific example. Compare:
People with reading difficulties often have problems with numbers.
The number eight is considered lucky in some countries.
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