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5

Common mistakes

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Tim speaks the English very well.
Tim speaks English very well.

Never use the definite article before the names of languages.

We can say: He speaks the English language very well.

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The gold is a precious metal.
Gold is a precious metal.

Don't use any article with material nouns, if used in a general sense.

Material nouns, used in a particular sense, require the definite article: The coal from the Midlands is exported to many countries.

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Sunday can be a day of prayer.
The Sunday can be a day of prayer.
December is the last month.
The December is the last month.

Don't use the definite article before the names of days and months

We say the Sunday before last, the December of 1940, etc

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On Sunday I go to church.
On Sunday I go to the church.

To go to church means to go and pray; while to go to the church means to go and visit the church.

Similarly, distinguish between go to bed and go to the bed, go to prison and go to the prison, go to market and go to the market, go to hospital and go to the hospital, sit at table and sit at the table.

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You must be careful in the future.
You must be careful in future.

In the future means in the time to come: Nobody knows what will happen in the future.

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