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The definite article

The definite article, like the two demonstratives, employs a paradigm of two distinct lexical forms. These two forms are used to make a contrast in the singular between the common and the neuter gender, and to make a contrast in the neuter gender between the singular and the plural. So, the neuter gender makes a number distinction whereas the common gender does not, as is shown by the following table:

Table 1
SG common gender SG neuter gender PL (both genders)
Definite article de it de
Distal demonstrative dy dat dy
Proximate demonstrative dizze dit dizze
No article or quantifier makes any case distinction; only a subset of pronouns does. See attribution. Both the definite article and the indefinite article have a function in the domain of discourse. The definite article may also be used with a noun and a verb to form an idiom. The definite article is involved in so-called correlative measure constructions. The definite article is involved in constructions of inalienable possession.

Nouns may be elided following the demonstrative article, which functions as a stand-in for the definite article (see definite article and demonstratives).


More details about the definite article can be found by following the corresponding links: