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Common mistakes

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My sister goes to school.
My sister goes to the school.

To go to school means to be a student, while to go to the school, means to visit the school.

Similarly, to leave school means to stop being a student and to leave the school means to go away from the school premises.

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A thief is a danger to society.
A thief is a danger to the society.

Use the definite article if society is used (1) in a particular sense: The society of the Greeks was based on freedom; (2) in the sense of companionship:  enjoy the society of my friends.

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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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The sight is one of the five senses.
Sight is one of the five senses.

Don't use an article before the names of the five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch.

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Bravery is a great virtue.
The bravery is a great virtue.

Abstract nouns, if used in a general sense, can't take the article.

Abstract nouns, used in a particular sense, use the article: The bravery of the Spartans was renowned.

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