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    Teacher: Chris
    Level:

    Articles a/an and the

    There are three forms of article used in the English language: Definite article (the), indefinite article (a/an) and zero article (Ø). The choice of article depends on the noun or noun forms that are described by the article.

     

    Indefinite article: a/an

     

    Use

    Example

    Explanation

    Before singular nouns

    This is a chair
    That's an octopus

     

    The indefinite article describes one of many things

    With jobs

    I'm a teacher
    He's a taxi driver

    A very strong rule in that it is almost used in this way

    The first time something is mentioned

    A woman walked into a room
    There was a mouse in the kitchen

     

    Because the noun is unknown, we use the simpler form of the article to describe




    Warning!

    Remember that an is used with words starting with vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u)

     

    This is an egg

     

    NOT

     

    This is a egg

     

     

    Definite article: the

     

    Use

    Example

    Explanation

    When there is only one of something

    The moon
    The Eiffel tower

     

    The definite article is used for unique items

    When something has been mentioned before

    A woman walked into a room. The woman asked for a drink

    One of the main uses of definite article is when we want to refer to something

    With seas, oceans, rivers and most country names that use extra words

    The Black sea
    The river Thames
    The United Kingdom

     

    These are rules that need to be noted and remembered

     

    Before the names of areas

    The North of Europe

    With superlative adjectives

    The biggest and the best

    With some defining expressions

    It's the only place to go

    In some phrases with prepositions

    In the morning
    At the end

    With dates in spoken English

    My birthday is on the fifteenth of November

     

     

    Warning!

     

    It's easy to become confused and misuse articles. For example, countries with more than one word have an article but countries do not:

     

    The United states of America NOT The Sweden

     

    Also easily confused can be geographical features: Seas, Oceans and Rivers do use the definite article but lakes do not

     

    The Neva, The Indian Ocean NOT The Lake Baikal

     

     

    Zero article

     

    Use

    Example

    Explanation

    With the names of most towns, cities and countries

    Welcome to Ø Rhyl
    This is Ø Brugge
    I've never been to Ø China

     

    These are rules that need to be noted and remembered

     

    Before plural nouns

    Where are my Ø shoes

    In some phrases with prepositions

    I'll see you on Ø Monday
    I eat Pizza for Ø lunch

    With sports

    Like Ø football but not Ø golf

     

     

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