Can You Use the Article 'The' Before 'Court'?

Use the word “court” (without “the”) to refer to the legal system in a general sense, but include the article “the” to identify a specific court.

Use the word “court” (without “the”) to refer to the legal system in a general sense.

She was taken to court.

Five people will appear in court today.

But include the article “the” to identify a specific court.

The court suspended execution of the prison sentence. (one specific court)

The case was rejected by the Supreme Court.

1. When to Use An Article Before Court (law)

When thinking of “court” as a general idea (a place where legal matters are decided by a judge and jury), do not use the article “the”.

I'll see you in court.

John will appear in court on Thursday.

Follow the same strategy with these related expressions:

  • Go to court
  • Take somebody to court
  • Bring somebody or something to court
  • Appear in court
  • Out of court (without a legal hearing)
  • Etc.

The costs of going to court are too high.

A woman has appeared in court charged with the murder of Mark Gonzalez.

However, you can narrow down the meaning of your sentence by identifying a specific court. In such a situation, use the article “the” or another determiner (this, that, some, etc.).

The court ruled in your favor. (one specific court)

The Supreme Court already ruled on this very issue.

The International Criminal Court should be an organ of the United Nations.

The indefinite article “a” usually implies one among several possibilities.

In some cases, the issue is regulated by a court.

A court convicted him on three felonies.

We also use the expression “the court” to refer to the judge and jury in a court.

The police officer told the court that she had seen Anderson leaving the crime scene.

As an adjective, “court” can be preceded by an article (a, and, the) or another determiner.

The court case lasted two months.

The company appealed against the court ruling.

2. Court As an Area made for Playing Games

A court is also an area made for playing games, such as basketball, volleyball, or tennis.

Sports facilities include a swimming pool and two basketball courts.

In this context, add an article (a, an, the) or another determiner (this, that, some, several, two, three, etc.) to identify or quantify the noun according to the usual rules.

There is also a volleyball court.

Some tennis courts are indoors.

The three basketball courts are on the other side of the road.

But omit the determiner when speaking about tennis courts, basketball courts, etc. in a general sense.

Tennis courts are made of several layers.

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