Hi, I’m Sarah, welcome to The Daily English Show.
Thank you so much to the people who have become members so far. You guys are awesome and I really appreciate your support.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out these shows: 585, 695.
Remember if you become a member during April, I’ll send you a set of Stick News pictures ... and if you do that, then make sure you go have a look here first and you’ll see which pictures are gone.
So, on to today’s mistake. Today I want to talk about a common mistake, that is using a instead of the and vice versa.
So, when do you use a and when do you use the? Well that is a difficult question. It really depends on the situation. In my favourite grammar book, there are about seven chapters just on a and the ... so you should buy a book and do lots of exercises ...
But anyway, today I’m going to give you two scenarios and if you’re lucky I might give you some more next week.
When you’re telling a story use a when you introduce something for the first time. And then when you mention it from the second time onwards, use the. So you can think of a as a kind of introducing word and the as a word that’s short for “the thing that you know what I’m talking about because I already introduced it”.
For example: Yesterday I was walking to the station when I saw a man and a woman sitting on a bench. And the man was shouting at the woman and she was crying. And then suddenly the man got up and ran away and the woman started laughing.
So as you can see, when I introduced those people in the story, I used a and then when I talked about the same people again, I used the.
When you’re talking about a particular thing, use the. And when it’s not a particular thing, use a.
Did you buy a bike?
Did you buy the bike?
What’s the difference?
Well, in the second sentence, you’re talking about a particular bike, like, the bike that we saw in the shop window yesterday, or the bike that we were talking about on the phone.
Kia Ora, in Stick News today, a nineteen-year-old American woman has been officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Youngest Professor.
Alia was born in 1989 in New York City, New York.
She started reading when she was eight months old.
And by the time she was 14 she had a university degree.
She then went to graduate school in Philadelphia.
She’s now working on her PHD. According to her website, she’s done “groundbreaking work towards developing nanotube-based cellular probes for use in medical research”.
Recently she’s been teaching at a university in New Orleans.
In May she starts her job as a professor at a university in South Korea.
And the Guinness Book of World Records has named her the World's Youngest Professor.
And that was Stick News for Wednesday 23rd of April.
Word Of The Day
Today’s word is prodigy. This is a word that is used to describe the girl in today’s news.
n. a person, especially a young one, with exceptional abilities
conversations with sarah
What do you mean?
It’s really hard to tell when to use a and the.
Yeah, it is. Don’t stress about it too much though.
What do you mean?
I mean, don’t worry about it too much.
It’s important though, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s good to try and get it right. But communication is usually the most important thing, and if you make a mistake with a and the it usually doesn’t affect the meaning.
Show 711 Wednesday 23 April
The Daily English Show