Omission of "the" - Omission of the Definite Article

The definite article (The) is not used:

1     Before names of places or before names of people.

  • I like Mark.

  • I've never been to Paris.

2     Before abstract nouns if they are not used in a particular sense.


  • He was a man of great wisdom.  


  • The wisdom of this man never stops to surprise me.

3     Before names of meals 

  • We eat eggs for breakfast


  • The wedding breakfast was held in her uncle's house.


4     After a noun in the possessive case, or a possessive adjective.

  • the boy's notebook = the notebook of the boy.

  • This is my red T-shirt = The (red) T-shirt is mine.

5     Before names of games 

  • She plays volleyball.

  • They like football.

6     Before parts of the body and articles of clothing. These normally prefer a possessive adjective.

  • I raise my left hand.    

  • Take off your hat.
  • He clapped his hands.

But we can also say:

  • The ball hit Tim in the face.

In the passive it looks like this:

  • He was hit on the head.
  • She was smack on the cheek.

Read further (page 2)