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Acerca de

Green Juices

Nouns 3

Talking in general

1. When we are talking about things or people in general, we do not normally use "the" with uncountable and plural nouns:


  • Do you prefer dogs or cats?

  • I like American food, especially hamburgers.

  • Ece eats all the time. She really likes food.

  • I don't like people who shout. (people who shout in general)

  • Ali often listens to music.

When we are talking about particular things or people, we normally use "the":


  • I don't like the people who live next door. (a particular group of people)

  • We went to that new restaurant last night. The food was excellent.

  • The music they played at the party wasn't very good.

2. the + adjective
We can use the + adjective to talk about a group of people in general, e.g. the old, the young, the

rich, the poor, the disabled, the homeless, etc. The meaning is always plural:

  • The rich (= rich people) have more money than the poor (= poor people).

  • The government should do more to help the homeless and the unemployed.

We use "the" with some nationality adjectives to talk about people from a particular country:

  • The French are passionate about food.

  • America was discovered by the Spanish in 1492.

In general, we can use the + adjective for nationality adjectives ending in -sh, -ch, -ese or -ss:

  • the Turks

  • the British

  • the Dutch

  • the Chinese

  • the Swiss

With other nationalities, we can only use the plural noun:

  • an Italian (singular noun) - (the) Italians (plural noun)

  • a German - (the) Germans

  • a Scot - (the) Scots

  • an Iraqi - (the) Iraqis

3. the + type of animal, machine, currency, etc.

  • The cheetah is the fastest land animal.

  • The dollar is the currency used in the United States of America.

  • Ilker plays the cello very well.

In the above examples, we use the + singular countable noun to talk about a particular type of animal, currency and musical instrument in general. The meaning is not one particular thing.

  • The computer is a very useful machine. (a type of machine)

  • The computer that I ordered has arrived. (a particular computer)


  • Do you like to travel?

  • Yes, I love it. Last month, I visited Spain. The Spanish are very friendly people.

  • How did you get there?

  • I went by train. The train is my favorite means of transport.

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