ARTICLES – A, AN, THE
An article is a word (or prefix or suffix) that is used with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. Articles are usually characterized as either definite or indefinite. A few languages with well-developed systems of articles may distinguish additional subtypes. Within each type, languages may have various forms of each article, according to grammatical attributes such as gender, number, or case, or according to adjacent sounds.
a and an are called indefinite articles. “Indefinite” means “not specific”. Use a(an) when you are talking about a thing in general, NOT a specific thing.
The indefinite article ‘a’ is used before singular countable nouns that start with a consonant sound.
- a pencil
- an orange.
Used before number collectives and some numbers:
- a dozen
- a gallon
Used before a singular noun followed by a restrictive modifier:
- a girl who was wearing a red frock.
Used with nouns to form adverbial phrases of quantity, amount, or degree:
- I felt a bit depressed.
The indefinite article ‘an’ is used before singular countable nouns that start with a vowel sound.
- That is an excellent book.
- Do you live in a big house?
- Did you bring an umbrella?
- She will come back in an hour.
- What an amazing view!
THE is called a definite article. “Definite” means “specific”. Use THE when talking about something which is already known to the listener or which has been previously mentioned, introduced, or discussed.
- I have a cat. The cat is black.
- There is a book in my backpack. The book is very heavy.
- Are you looking for the shampoo?
- I checked the mailbox again.
Choose the correct article in each sentence.
1. My mother is —- doctor and my father is——author.
2. Sam recommended — book to Lisa. She didn’t like —- book at all.
3. I bought — pair of shoes.
4. I saw—–movie last night
5. There’s —-big bear in —- backyard. I think —- bear is looking for something to eat.
6. The helicopter landed on roof of a building.
7. —— sun comes up every day.
8. ——love is such —- beautiful thing.
9. _____ president of the writing club is chosen every year.
10. They say _____ apple each day is good for your health.
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