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Unit 1: Planning your essayUnit 2: Structuring paragraphsUnit 3: Introductions & conclusionsUnit 4: Writing persuasivelyUnit 5: Writing cohesively
 

5. The definite article ‘the’

The definite article the is often used to refer back to something which has already been mentioned in the text and is now occurring for the second (or perhaps the third or fourth) time.

Example

The definite article can also be used to point (refer) forwards, although this is less common.

Note that the definite article is not always used referentially.

Example

6. General reference

Usually a reference word is tied to a word, phrase or other grammatical element which is clearly identifiable in the preceding or subsequent text.

However, sometimes a reference word refers back to an entire stretch of text – perhaps even a paragraph or two - without referring to any one particular component of it. In this case, the reference word has the function of summarising the preceding information.

The words most commonly used to do this are the demonstrative pronouns this and these.

Example

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