Ha ha - the
answer. The reasoning being that it is assumed there is only one like the
An exception being maybe if there were already other answers proposed.....oh God....
I had intended not getting into the old a/the thing simply because it is so widespread and it's not that easy to give comprehensive advice due to the amount of different usage/exceptions.
I think this thread so far has covered the bulk of it though. For any perfectionists or masochists I'd recommend "A Practical English Grammar" by Thomson & Martinet. It provides very clear, sensible and detailed info on all aspects of grammar usage including many pages on a/the.
Dogs in Thailand can be friendly sometimes, so can dogs in China, but the dogs in Thailand are more aggressive than the dogs in China ;) :P :P
Ha ha - which once again brings us back to:
- when I've already mentioned the thing I'm talking about (There is a chair in my room. The chair is broken)
Another common consequence of article paranoia is maybe overdoing it too e.g. "I was talking to the Wiktor the other day" etc
I wouldn't worry too much about it though - unless you really
want to get it right.
You will always be understood perfectly and it is rare that incorrect usage will lead to ambiguity. Plus, you can take comfort in the fact that the most common mistakes made by native speakers, e.g. I seen, I done, there is 5 of them... are almost never made by Poles!
And these are really pretty
common mistakes with native English speakers!EDIT:
Actually, although it doesn't cover everything, this is quite a good summary:
Summary: This handout discusses the differences between indefinite articles (a/an) and definite articles (the).