Articles in Phrases and Idiomatic Expressions

In certain fixed expressions and idioms articles are used in a way which does not follow the general rules. Such expressions should be memorised. For example:

  • on TV (but: on the radio)
  • at noon (but: in the morning)
  • to know something by heart (not: the heart)
  • to meet someone in person (not: in the person)

Below you will see more examples of that kind:

  • She always dresses in style.
  • I missed that point on purpose.
  • There’s a lot at stake.
  • The plane landed on time.
  • The captain should abandon ship as the last one.
  • I feel a little under the weather.
  • They were fighting tooth and nail to win the contract.

Remember that the choice of the right article depends on the context (e.g. what you and the audience know or can see).