What is an article – TroubleinthepeaceS

An article in English is an auxiliary element that often appears in a sentence to help emphasize the subject being mentioned. There are two types of articles commonly used: indefinite articles and definite articles.

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What is an article?

Simply understood, an article is a word that precedes a noun and indicates whether the noun refers to a definite or indefinite object.


1. Concepts

In English, articles are divided into two types: definite articles. “The” and Indefinite artcile including “ah, ah”.

2. Classification

Defining article (Denfinite article): the

Indefinite article (Indefinite article): a, an

Article Zero (Zero article) or nouns without an article: usually applied to uncountable nouns and plural countable nouns: rice, tea, people, clothes.

Article is not a separate word, we can consider it as a part of adjectives used to modify nouns – indicating units.



1. How to use the article “the”:

The is used when the noun refers to an object that both the speaker and the listener know well about: who or what that object is.

When an object or group of objects is unique or considered to be unique

Example: The sun, the world, the earth

Before a noun if the noun has been mentioned before

I see a dog. The dog is chasing a mouse.

Before a noun if the noun is confirmed by a phrase or a clause

The dotor that I met yesterday is my sister

Put in front of a noun indicating a separate object that both the speaker and the listener understand

Please pass the jar of snacks.

Before the superlative (before first, second, only..) when these words are used as adjectives or pronouns.

He is the tall person in the world.

The + singular noun: represents a group of animals or things

The fast-food is more and more prior around the world

Put “the“before an adjective to refer to a certain group of people

The old, the poor, the rich.

The is used before proper nouns of sea, river, archipelago, mountain range, plural names of countries, deserts, regions.

The Pacific, The United States , the Alps

The + of + noun

The North of Vietnam, The West of Germany

The + surname (in plural form) means Family

The Smiths

Use “the” if we refer to a certain place but it is not used with the correct function.

They went to the school to see their children.

2. How to use the article an

Article an is used before words that begin with a vowel (based on pronunciation, not on spelling).

Example Articles with words that begin with a, e, i, o: an apble an aircraft, an egg, an object

Example articles with words that start with “u”: an uncle, an umbrella

For example, some words that start with a silent sound: an heir, half an hour.

A special example is when the article is accompanied by acronyms: an SOS (an emergency signal), an MSc (a master of science), an X-ray (an X-ray).

3. How to use article a.

We use a before words that begin with a consonant or a vowel with a consonant sound. Also they include some cases that start with u, y, h.

Before a noun that begins with “uni…” must use “a” (a university/ a uniform/ universal)

Use before “half” when it follows an integral unit: a kilo and a half, or when it is combined with another noun to indicate half (when written with a hyphen): a half – share, a half-day (half a day).

Used with fractional units such as 1/3 a/one third – 1/5 a /one fifth.

Used in expressions for price, speed, rate: $4 a kilo, 100 kilometers an hour, 2 times a day.

Used in idioms indicating a certain amount such as: a lot of/ a couple/ a dozen.

Used before certain numbers are usually thousands, hundreds like a/one hundred – a/one thousand.


A/An has the same form in all varieties and species

For example:

a tiger (a tiger);a tigress (a tigress)

an uncle (an uncle); an aunt

4. Cases where the article is not used

Before country, continent, mountain, lake, street names

(Except for countries under the Federal system – consisting of many states (state)

Europe;en:Europe, France, Wall Street, Sword Lake

When uncountable nouns or plural nouns are used in a general sense, not a particular case

I like dogs.

Oranges are good for health.

Before an abstract noun, unless the noun indicates a special case

Men fear death.

The death of his father made him completely hopeless.

I do not use “the” after a possessive adjective or after a noun in the possessive form

My friend, not “my the friend”

The man’s wife is not “the wife of the man”

Do not use “the” before names of meals or titles

They invited some close friends to dinner. (They invited some close friends over for dinner.)

But: The wedding dinner was amazing (The wedding party was amazing.)

I say: President Obama (President Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel (Chancellor Angela Merkel..)

Do not use “the” in cases of referring to nouns with other general meanings such as playing sports, seasons of the year or means of transportation

Come by car/ by bus (Arrive by car, by bus)

In spring/ in Autumn (in spring, autumn), fr0m beginning to end (from beginning to end), from left to right (from left to right)

To play golf/chess/cards (golf, chess, cards)

Go to bed/hospital/church/work/prison


Practical exercise

Exercise 1: Fill in a/an or the

1. This morning I bought….newspaper and …….magazine. …….newspaper is in my bag but I don’t know where I put…..magazine.

2. I saw ……accident this morning. ……car crashed into …..tree. ……driver of ……car wasn’t hurt but …..car was badly damaged.

See also: What is logic – Meaning of the word Logic

3. There are two cars parked outside:……..blue one and …….grey one. ……..blue one belongs to my neighbors. I don’t know who ….. owner of…..grey one is.

4. My friends live in…….old house in……small village. There is …….beautiful garden behind …….house. I would like to have……garden like this.

5. This house is very nice. Has it got …….garden?

6. It’s a beautiful day. Let’s sit in……..garden.

7. Can you recommend …….good restaurant?

8. We had dinner in…….most expensive restaurant in town.

9. There isn’t ………….airport near where I live. …….nearest airport is 70 miles away.

10. “Are you going away next week?”

– “No, …..week after next”

Exercise 2: Complete the sentences below using a suitable preposition

Bed, home, hospital, prison, school, university, work

1. Two people were injured in the accident and were taken to hospital.

2. In Britain, children from the age of five have to go……………………

3. Mark didn’t go out last night. He stayed……………………..

4. I’ll have to hurry. I don’t want to be late……………..

5. There is a lot of traffic in the morning when everybody is going……………………

6. Cathy’s mother has just had an operation. She is still……………

7. When Julia leaves school, she wants to study economics………….

8. Bill never gets up before 9 o’clock. It’s 8.30 now, so he is still……………..

9. If you commit a serious crime, you could be sent………….

Exercise 3: Choose the correct answer

1. I’m afraid of dogs/the dogs.

2. Can you pass the salt/salt, please?

3. Apples/the apples are good for you.

4. Look at apples/the apples on that tree! They are very big.

5. Women/the women live longer than men/the men.

6. I don’t drink tea/the tea. I don’t like it.

7. We had a very nice meal. Vegetables/ the vegetables were especially good.

8. Life/the life is strange sometimes. Some very strange things happen.

9. I like skiing/the skiing. But I’m not good at it.

10. Who are people/the people in this photograph?

11. What makes people/the people violent? What causes aggression/the aggression?

12. All books/all the books on the top shelf belong to me.

13. First world war/ the first world war lasted from 1914 until 1918.

14. One of our biggest problems is unemployment/the unemployment.


Lesson 1:

1. This morning I bought…a….newspaper and ..a…magazine. ..The…newspaper is in my bag but I don’t know where I put…the ..magazine.

2. I saw …an…accident this morning. …a…car crashed into …a..tree. …The……driver of …a…car wasn’t hurt but …the..car was badly damaged.

3. there are two cars parked outside:…a…blue one and …a….grey one. …the…..blue one belongs to my neighbors. I don’t know who …the.. owner of…the..grey one is.

4. My friends live in…an…old house in…a…small village. There is …a….beautiful garden behind …the…..house. I would like to have…a…garden like this.

5. This house is very nice. Has it got…a….garden?

6. It’s a beautiful day. Let’s sit in…the…garden.

7. Can you recommend …a…..good restaurant?

8. We had dinner in…the….most expensive restaurant in town.

See also: What is Sapiosexual – 15 Interesting Facts About Sapiosexual

9. There isn’t …an…….airport near where I live. …the….nearest airport is 70 miles away.

Category: FAQ

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