We use the when there is only one of something.
- Have you ever crossed the equator?
- Our apartment is on the tenth floor.
- I’m going away at the end of this month.
the sun, the moon, the earth, the world, the universe
the sky, the sea, the ground, the environment, the internet
- I love to look at the stars in the sky.
- The internet has changed the way we live.
- We need to do more to protect the environment.
- The earth goes round the sun, and the moon goes round the earth.
We also use `Earth’ (without the) when we think of it as a planet in space (like Mars, Jupiter etc.)
- Which planet is nearest Earth?
We say space (without the) when we mean `space in the universe’. Compare
- There are millions of stars in space. (not in the space)
- I tried to park my car, but the space was too small.
We use a/an to say what kind of thing something is. Compare the and a:
- The sun is a star. (=one of many stars)
- The hotel we stayed at was a very nice hotel.
We say: the cinema, the theatre
- I go to the cinema a lot, but I haven’t been to the theatre for ages.
When we say the cinema/ the theatre, we do not necessary mean a specific cinema or theatre.
We usually say the radio, television /TV (without the). Compare:
- I listen to the radio a lot. but I watch television a lot.
- We heard it on the radio. but We watched it on TV.
The television /the TV = the television set:
- Can you turn off the television, please?
We do not normally use the with breakfast/lunch/dinner.
- What did you have for breakfast?
- We had lunch in a very nice restaurant.
But we use a/an if we say `a big lunch’,`a wonderful dinner’,`an early breakfast’ etc. :
- We had a very nice lunch.
We do not use the before noun+number.
- Our train leaves from Platform 5.
- (in a shop) Do you have these shoes in size 43?
In the same way, Room 126, page29, question 3, Gate 10, etc.