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Articles

Articles : The very basic topic in English Grammar yet most confusing.

Indefinite Definite
articles Articles

A, An The

An article is a word that is used with a noun to specify grammatical definiteness of the noun,
and in some languages extending to volume or the numerical scope.

Indefinite Article

We use ‘a’ and ‘an’ before singular nouns when talking about them for the first time.

A - in front of words with constant sounds.

Eg: Girl, Car, University, Mansion etc

An - in front of words with vowel sounds.

Eg: Umbrella, Eye, Hour, Apple etc

Note :

1. The idea of consonant and vowel sounds were being stressed because some words
begin with a consonant spelling but may start with vowel pronunciation.
• The train was late by an hour.
• It is an honor to meet you.
[ In these cases ‘h’ is silent.]
2. In some words, the opposite could be true – that is they could start with a vowel
spelling , but could start with consonant pronunciation.
• He is doing his B.Sc in a University.
• Does every Engineering student wear a uniform?
• We are importing a European machine for our new project.
[All the words are taken to be starting with a “ Y” sound.]

Definite Article – The


The definite article “the” is used.
i. Before a noun if that noun is already introduced or known.
Ex: I have a table at home. The table is made of plastic.
ii. With ordinal numbers.
Ex: He lives on the fifth floor of the building.
iii. Before superlatives.
Ex: This is the most expensive dress I have.
iv. If the object of reference is actually many in number, but most often , we refer
to only one particular object among the lot.
Ex: Please close the door that is open.
John liked the red shirt which is out of stock.
v. Before a singular noun when we want to mean the entire class of the kind.
Ex: The dog is a very clever animal.
vi. Before names of certain books.
Ex : Christians love to read the Bible.
The Ramayana is one of India’s epics.
vii. Before names of musical instruments.
Ex: I know how to play the veena.
I like to play the violin.

Omission of Articles :
There are instances/cases when you don’t use any articles. Below are some such cases:

a. Before names of languages, institutions and meals


Ex: English is a very funny language.
• Some people want Hindi to be Indian national language.
Note 1 :
Articles are omitted before names of languages when we mean the language itself.
Ex: I learnt the use of articles at school.
• He goes to church every Sunday.
Note 2:
Articles are omitted before the names of the institutions when they are visited for
primary purpose.
Ex: What did you have for breakfast ?
They have skipped lunch today.
b. Before plural nouns when making generalizations.
Ex: Kids love to watch cartoons.
• Computers are extensively used in offices today.
• Boys are less likely to cry when faced with difficulties.
c. Before next proper nouns.
Ex: New Delhi is the capital of India.
• M.S. Dhoni scored a century in the previous match.
Russia was one of the superpowers of the world.
d. Before names of positions when that positions is the ‘object’ in the sentence.
Ex: He was elected captain of the team.
• She was declared winner.
e. In some phrases consisting of a preposition followed by its object.
Ex: at home, on hand, at noon, by water, on earth, by name etc.
f. Before uncountable nouns need to avoid indefinite articles
Ex: Knowledge, Advice,coffee
• I prefer coffee to tea
• I like to gain Knowledge

PRACTICE QUESTIONS:

1-2. Tower of London is popular tourist attraction.

3-5. Newcastle is town in north of England.

6-8. Princess lives in palace in London.

9-10. Buckingham Palace is where Queen of England officially lives.

11-12. She bought expensive necklace at Harrods.

13-14. They went for stroll around St James' Park.

15-16. The supermarket is in Kendell Street opposite Lloyds Bank.

17-18. hotel where they held their wedding reception was called Grand Hotel.

19-20. Anna was born in Italy but she lives in U.S.A. now.

21-22. The convict is in prison on outskirts of town.

23. His favorite newspaper is Guardian.


24-25. Gatwick Airport is in southern England.

26-28. Duchess of York opened new hospital in center of London.

29-30. He went on expensive holiday to Bahamas.

31-32. Statue of Liberty is in New York.

33-35. National Park was opened last week by mayor.

36-37. expedition to South Pole needs a lot of careful planning.

38-40. Odeon cinema is in Appleton Street just past library.

41-44. Last month I saw movie and then went to concert movie was
brilliant but concert was boring.

45-48. There are three cars parked outside: Mercedes, Jaguar and
Fiat. Mine is Fiat.

49-50. Harrods is a huge department store near Kensington Gardens.

ANSWERS:

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