The is a grammatical article in English, denoting person(s) or thing(s) already mentioned, under discussion, implied, or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners or readers. It is the only definite article in English. The is the most commonly used word in the English language, accounting for 7 percent of all words. It is derived from gendered articles in Old English which merged in Middle English and now has a single form used with nouns of either gender. It can be used with both singular and plural nouns and with nouns that start with any letter. This is different from many other languages which have different articles for different genders or numbers.