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When I was studying for my CELPIP exam I got material from them. Unfortunately, I can not put the PDF to the public because it has a watermark with my personal email. But I can put you here what it says.

CELPIP's tenth error as they state:

A common CELPIP error is mishandling countable and uncountable nouns. We can separate and enumerate countable nouns (one storm,A common CELPIP error is omitting or misusing the articles a, an, and the. (I immigrated to the Canada from the Japan.) Although anyone can communicate their general meaning without correctly using articles, these errors are a constant distraction for the rater and a sure sign of an English speaker who isn’t fully fluent.

English has a definite article (the) and an indefinite article (a/an). These articles are placed before certain nouns or noun phrases. We use the before all types of nouns when both speaker and listener already know which one is being referred to. We use a or a before singular countable nouns when the listener doesn’t know which one is being referred to. This discussion focuses on the definite article, the.

How to Use The

When the noun is Example
Obvious or familiar to speaker and listener because of shared knowledge

Sorry, I ate all the bananas. We'll have to buy some more.

I feel like staying at home; you can take the car.

Known to speaker and listener because previously mentioned A new planet has been discovered in a distant galaxy. The planet is similar to ours and may be able to support life.
Known because specified in the sentence The manager who runs this shop gave me a suggestion.
Unique because it's the only one that exists The ozone layer around the Earth is being depleted.
Unique in its class because of a modifier, comparative, or superlative

She is the younger of the two sisters.

Max bought a ticket for the biggest lottery in BC's history.

A country whose name includes "the" the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom


When meaning "all", you don't use the; with quantifiers (some, any), possessives (my, your), demonstrative pronouns (this, that), and other articles (a, an); or with most singular proper nouns.

  • The immigration to a new country is not easy.
  • Lend me the your car keys.
  • I'm visiting the Edmonton next month.

Good luck!

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