THEの使い方|How to use ‘the’

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Hey hey Coach Chris here with Eigo2020.jp where we fixed English mistakes Japanese people make before the Olympics and beyond. Alright let’s get started. So, she forgot her bag and I took her to station office. You took her to the station office? You took her to the station office? There’s a small problem with the sentence. It sounds like you took her to a place called station office. Or a store called ‘station office.’ I understand this could be a little confusing especially coming from the Japanese language.  I understand. But in this case you need to say I took her to the ‘the’ station office. Because it means the station office that’s in this train station. And not the store called ‘station office’. Alright, you get that? The dreaded ‘the’. We will find you and we will master you. So, please. Come to Eigo2020.jp where we are creating a rapid English training program, so you can be an English master as quick as you’ve wanted to be. Alright, so subscribe, and tap the bell at the bottom so you can get all the videos as soon as they come out. Let’s train for the Olympics and beyond. And remember Coach Chris is always with you.


[日本語文へ]

How to use ‘the’…

I got it! I will tell you how to understand ‘the’.

‘The’ refers a noun or noun phrase to something else. 

When we do that, we understand what ‘the’ noun is. 

For example:

“Go to the station office in Shinjuku station.”

If we are already in Shinjuku station, we could say

“Go to the station office.” (We already know it’s Shinjuku’s station office)

It is incorrect to say “Go to station office.” Because without having ‘the’ before, it would sound like someone named the place ‘Station Office’ simply as a stylistic choice.

Meaning it’s not a description of the type of place.

It’s very important to understand that in English we differentiate place names and type of places with our grammar.

If you focus on understanding this, you will definitely learn to use ‘the’ correctly.

On the other hand, some students say “I am at the Ginza station”. 

This is incorrect because, although it’s a station in Ginza, it is specifically named Ginza station.

It’s technically a station in Ginza, but Yurakucho is also a station in Ginza. 

So we need to think about these places according to the name, and not the type of place. Just the same way that Meiji-jingume station is a station in Harajuku.

I’m sure it’s clear now. But you may think it’s a hassle to remember because Japanese doesn’t differentiate these grammatically. 

In this case, just memorize the following examples and explanations and try using them when speaking English and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

For example:

Locations 
  • Let’s meet at the cafe (that we went to before).
  • Where is the bathroom (in this area)?
  • Have you gone to the park (in this area)?
Things
  • I want the iPhone (of the world).
  • Where is the paper (that you wrote)?
  • Give me the case (that is on the table).
  • Did you check the weather forecast (of the day)?
  • He’s the best player (in the history of basketball).
Special Places
  • The Eiffel tower (of the world)
  • The United states of America (of the world)
  • The Philippines (of the world)
  • The Statue of liberty (of the world)

‘The’ is convenient because you do not have to explain every little detail of something to make it known.

Because English is a low context language, ‘the’ is essential to avoid confusing the person you are talking to.

It’s a skill that needs to be developed for fluent conversation in English, and takes a little work to remember. But I believe you can do it. Just remember these examples to make sense of things when you’re confused. 

I know there are many more examples, but I wanted things to be as simple as possible. 

I hope you can somewhat understand the way and the point of using ‘the’.

[日本語文へ]

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