Reaching out across the Web .. ...分享 Zuojun Yu, physical oceanographer, freelance English editor


ChatGPT and me on “the” (如何用定冠词)

已有 1210 次阅读 2023-5-22 02:28 |个人分类:Most shared|系统分类:论文交流

Apple users can now download App ChatGPT for free. So, I decided to give it a go. As I didn’t expect much, I actually enjoyed playing with it. Now, I treat GPT with respect, by saying “Thank you” after each interaction.


In a way, GPT is not truly AI, as it cannot come up with anything truly NEW. Its knowledge is based on data generated in the past, say before September 2021.


“GPT: As an AI language model, my responses are based on the information available up until September 2021. I do not have real-time updates on current events beyond that point. To stay informed about the latest news and events happening in the world today, I recommend referring to reliable news sources such as news websites, newspapers, or news apps that provide up-to-date information. These sources can provide you with the most accurate and recent news updates.”


So, GPT is honest, about what it knows and does not know.


Ok, back to “the.” I edited a well written manuscript recently. The most obvious problem is that it contained too many “the.” I feel I should help out, by digging out my old Blog.


Here are some Blog I wrote a while ago:

科学网—To have, or not to have “the” (1) - 虞左俊的博文

科学网—“科网大”英文服务: To ave, or not to have “the” (2) - 虞左俊的博文


Then, I decided to ask ChatGPT. Its answers are as follows.

GPT: The article "the" is used in English to refer to specific or definite nouns. Here are some general guidelines on when to use "the":

1. When referring to a specific noun that is known to both the speaker and the listener: "The book you borrowed from me is on the table."

2. When referring to a unique or one-of-a-kind noun: "The sun rises in the east."

3. When referring to a noun that has been previously mentioned: "I saw a cat. The cat was black." [Note by Yu: a noun that …, not “the noun that…”]

4. When referring to a noun that is considered to be a specific class or category: "I love the color blue."

5. When referring to a noun that is a superlative or ordinal number: "He is the tallest person in the room." [Yu: ordinal numbers are 1st, 2nd, etc.]

6. When referring to certain geographical features such as oceans, seas, rivers, mountain ranges, and deserts: "I swam in the Pacific Ocean." [Yu: not “bays.”]

It's important to note that there are exceptions and specific rules for the use of "the" in certain contexts, and it can sometimes be subjective. The best way to master the usage of "the" is through practice and exposure to English language materials.


I enjoy using ChatGPT, but I will not ask IT “dangerous questions.”

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2 刘进平 何青

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