Using the Definite Article the before Nouns

In a paragraph, once a noun is identified (that is, it is clear to the reader), then the next time that the noun is used, you can use the definite article the to refer to that noun. Take a look at the following examples:

Examples with countable nouns

We cloned a cow. The cow is genetically identical to its parent.

The high throughput assay generated some hits. The hits were further analyzed by Johnson.

Examples with non-countable nouns

We discovered some protein in the flask. The protein was then isolated.

The next step in the assay was purification. The purification required several hours to complete.

Return to Using Articles or go to Step 4: Test Yourself: Using Indefinite and Definite Articles.

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