A definite article indicates that its noun is known or obvious to the listener. It may be something that the speaker has already mentioned, or it may be something uniquely specified. The definite article in English, for both singular and plural nouns, is «the». There is no definite article in Persian. A noun is definite in itself. That is, the lack of an article indicates that the noun is definite.
To talk about something known or obvious to the listener:
- Mâshin dar pârking ast — The car is in the garage
- Az rang-e mâshin khosh-am âmade — I like the color of the car
- Ketâb râ be man bedeh — Give me the book
To talk about all the things referred to by a noun:
- Dârad gitâr yâd migirad — She is learning the guitar
- Tanhâ dar Ostorâliyâ Kangoro hast — The kangaroo is found only in Australia
- Az mâr mitarsam — I'm afraid of snakes
- Varzesh barâ-ye salâmati khub ast — Exercise is good for health
- Mâshin az motor behtar ast — Cars are better than motorcycles
To talk about something that is unique:
- Âsemân sâf bud — The sky was clear
- Khorshid miderakhshid — The sun was shining
- Mâh be dowr-e zamin migardad — The moon circles the earth
NOTE Definite articles typically arise from demonstratives. The English definite article «the», derives from an Old English demonstrative. In Persian, demonstrative adjectives can be used to indicate definiteness. When translating into English, you should usually use «the» rather than English demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those).