Grammar: advanced articles – the
Advanced level (C1/C2)
‘The’ is sometimes used with the meaning ‘enough’. Let’s have a look at a few examples of this advanced use:
He doesn’t have the patience to be a teacher.
I think I have the commitment.
They have the passion to win.
The sentences above could be rewritten as:
He doesn’t have enough/sufficient/necessary patience to be a teacher.
I think I have enough/sufficient/necessary commitment.
They have enough/sufficient/necessary passion to win.
Another way to understand the first group of sentences is to see them as abbreviated. The complete sentences could be as follows:
He doesn’t have the patience (that) he needs to be a teacher.
I think I have the commitment (that’s) required.
They have the passion (which is needed) to win.
In some cases the definite article is not used, as in:
I’m sorry I don’t have time to do it today. (You are very busy.)
There isn’t room in the car. You’ll have to leave it at home.
Occasionally, people will try to make a flirty joke in response to someone asking what time it is:
A: Have you got the time?
B: I’ve got the time if you’ve got the energy!
It’s not a great joke but at least you’ll now understand what it means.