Definite and indefinite articles “a,” “an,” and “the” are the English language basic building blocks. They specify what object or object is being referred to, providing specificity both in writing and in conversation. In other words, Definite and indefinite articles will let you know who or what you are talking about? Using them depends on two things: a word singular or plural, and whether a name is definite or indefinite. Read the article to know the details about use of the article.
Use of the article
Definite and indefinite articles: “A”, “an”, and “the” can be used with all noun and adjective phrases. “A” and “a” are used with count nouns, which can be singular/plural and counted, such as “egg” or “female.” However, you should not use this unspecific article a, an, with uncountable noun, such as “flour”, which is not a plural and refers to a vague quantity. Definite article “the” can be used with both countable as well as uncountable noun.
Rules of indefinite articles
1. Use the indefinite article “a” when referring to a single, countable noun that begins with a consonant sound.
Indefinite article examples
- She has a dog.
- I work in a factory.
2. Use the indefinite article “a” when referring to a single, nonspecific object that begins with a vowel.
- Can I have an apple?
- He is an English teacher.
3. Use the specific article “the” when referring to a specific objects that is familiar to both the speaker and the listener.
Definite article examples
- There is the car.
- The teacher is very good, isn’t he?
4. The first time you mention something with an indefinite article, use a definite article when you repeat that object.
- I live in a house. The house is quite old and has two beds.
- The restaurant I ate at a Chinese restaurant was very good.
5. Do not use the with countries, states, counties, provinces, lakes and mountains, only the United States has a collection of such states.
- He lives in Washington, DC. In America.
- They live in northern British Columbia.
6. Use the article with water, ocean, and ocean companies
- My country borders on the Pacific Ocean.
7. You don’t usually use the when talking about a topic. Be sure to use the plural form of the uncountable noun.
- I would like Russian teas.
- She enjoys reading books.
8. Do not use an article when you are talking about food, space and transportation.
- She has breakfast at home.
- I go to university
- He comes to work by taxi.
Use of articles exercise
Q. Complete the following sentences using “A,” “an,” and “the” or ” Nothing .”
1. I live in _____ town.
2. Jennifer has _______ friend who know ______ famous singers there.
3. I want _____ new TV, let’s go shopping!
4. Peter drinks _______ Italian wine and eats _______ French food
5. My cousin told me that he once _____ met. _____ Rainer in Washington State
6. I work as … English teacher in Portland, Ore.
7. Do you have ______ cars? (Wife asks husband)
8. I’m going to work by _______ bus.
9. _____ the director of the company _____ is not very friendly, is he?
10. He bought ______ book of _____ story. The book was about _______ people who lived in Portugal. _____ People were very interesting.
Answers of the questions articles
1. A /
Explaination: Use “a” for both “house” and “city” because you don’t know which one is being referred.
2. A / the/
Use unspecific articles because you don’t know any friend, Use “the” because singers are specifically mentioned.
Use “a” because you have not yet selected a specific TV.
Don’t use any article when talking about food in general (Italian wine, French food).
6. Use indefinite an article before a vowel. Use “a” because I’m not the only English teacher in Portland
Use no article when using the preposition “by” with transport mode.
Assistants know who the director and the company are.
10. a ,a, the, the.
Use indefinite article the when first time you introduce a new object. Use definite article when specifying objects, persons, or places you have already mentioned.
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