What is It?
An article is a type of adjective which is always used together with a noun and carries some information about it. Articles are used to show what kind of noun follows it—definite (use the) or indefinite (use a/an).
When to Use?
Indefinite articles a and an are mostly used to refer to something for the first time, or to refer to a particular member of a group or class.
|* With names of:|
4. musical instruments
|1. My daddy is a policeman, so if you don’t give my toys back, he’ll put you in prison.|
2. I was playing an electronic guitar when my irritated neighbors knocked on my door (But: To describe the activity, the is used. E.g. I play the electric-guitar).
|* To refer to a kind of or an example of something.||Jenny’s little son was a strange child.|
|1. Showing there is only one thing instead of many.|
2. With singular nouns after the words what and such.
|1. Would you like a cup of tea?|
2. What a shame! How could you do that?
Remember to use a before consonants, and an before vowels!
The is used:
|* To indicate something that has already been referred to.||A strange man came to our bank this morning. The man’s face was covered with scars.|
|* To mark a certain object as unique.||I feel amazed every time I see the moon and the stars.|
|* When people know what is being talked about. In this case, it doesn’t matter whether the discussed subject has been mentioned before.||Have you seen the professor today?Yeah, he is already in the classroom.|
|* In cases when we talk about:|
1. a particular person;
2. an item;
3. a geographical name;
4. a whole group of people.
|1. The director of this movie is very famous abroad.|
2. Among all these t-shirts, I would only buy the green one.
3. I am going to spend my next vacation at the Caribbeans.
|* Before the:|
1. superlative forms of adjectives.
2. ordinal numbers.
|1. This is the best that could happen to me!|
2. I won the first prize of that literary contest.
|* With decades and groups of years.||I like the music of the 90′s.|
Articles are not used:
|* With singular names of countries.||I have been to Germany this summer.|
|* With the names of:|
9. people (if singular).
1. I study Spanish by myself.
2. May I invite you to dinner?
3. She bought that ring at Barkley’s.
4. I got tired of living in a big city, so I moved to Silverton.
5. My friend lives on 55 Riddleton Ave.
6. We need to go to Nihonbashi station – Takezo will be waiting for us outside the subway.
7. The plane landed at Heathrow Airport.
8. Engineering is my prospective profession.
9. John is my best friend.
|* With titles and names.||Prince Charles is Queen Elizabeth’s son.|
|* With the names of:|
1. individual mountains;
1. I want to see Mount Rushmore.
2. Last year we traveled to Baikal Lake.
3. I would like to visit Easter Island and see all those sculptures with my own eyes.
|* After ‘s possessive case.||It’s my brother’s laptop.|
|* With years.||I was born in 1988.|
|* With uncountable nouns.||Buckwheat in German sounds like buchweizen.|
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