The Definite Article
We can use the definite article with all nouns, countable and uncountable, singular and plural:
the boy, the girls, the cat, the computers, the water
If the following word begins with a vowel, we say [ði], and if the following word begins with a consonant, we say [ðə].
“The” vs. No Article
We have listed some examples in the following table. There you can see when we need to use the definite article and when we don't.
Using “the” with Seasons of the Year
We use the seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn, winter) with or without the definite article.
in summer or in the summer
The American English word for autumn (“fall”) is always used with the definite article.
The Usage Depends on the Context
Sometimes we use the article and sometimes we do not. It often depends on the context. Watch the following example:
The student goes to school.
The mother goes to the school.
In the first sentence we do not use the definite article, in the second we do. The student goes to school for its primary purpose, so we do not use the article.
The mother might talk to a teacher, for example. She visits the school for a different reason. That's why we use the definite article in the second sentence.