two pronunciations: ðə before a consonant, and ði before a vowel.
The sound ð is often deictic. That means it points to something in the world (or something that's been pointed out earlier in the course of discussion). (digit - doigt - deixis)
e.g. there, them, they, then, this, that, thus, therefore, these, those, thither, whither, etc.
Another way of saying 'definite article'. People use determiners to determine just what exactly they are talking about:
- the (definite determiner)
- a (indefinite determiner)
- my, your, etc. (possessive determiner)
- not any
Comparative correlative construction
- The more, the merrier...
- The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
- The greater the risk, the greater the gain.
- The longer you wait, the worse it gets.
- The less said, the better.
- The more we talked, the more I began to understand her point of view.
- "What big eyes you have, grandmother!"
- "The better to see you with, my dear."