Using Articles (a / an / the) in English Grammar

Using articles (a / an / the) in English grammar is quite tricky and puzzling. These articles (a, an or the) are complex words for students to learn. But, do not be troubled anymore if you are having difficulty with them. Simply follow the basic rules and exercise with the following examples.

The present post on ‘Using Articles (a / an / the) in English Grammar’ provides some valuable tips for properly using articles (a / an / the) in English grammar. This article will help you to avoid making future mistakes while using articles (a / an / the) in English grammar in your paper.

Basic Rules for Using Articles (a / an / the) in English Grammar

In the following are discussed the basic rules for correctly using articles (a / an / the) in English grammar.

The article ‘a’

The article ‘a’ is always used with a non-specific noun. It is used for talking about something in general. It is used to refer to something that has no shared knowledge between the speaker and the listener.

E.g.,

  • I brought a cat yesterday.
  • John was playing with a ball.
  • A good plan is the key to a successful business.

The article ‘an’

The article ‘an’ is used before a word that begins with a vowel. It is also used before the words that begin with a vowel sound, like ‘hour’, ‘honour’, etc.

E.g.,

  • I ate an apple.
  • An idea can change your life.
  • An hour of careful studying can bring you great results.

The article ‘the’

The article ‘the’ is used with a specific noun. It is used when the speaker and the listener have already discussed the subject. The article ‘the’ is used when something has a shared knowledge.

E.g.,

  • I brought the cat yesterday.
  • John was playing with the ball.
  • A good plan is the key to start the successful business.

No article

Sometimes, ‘a’, ‘an’ or ‘the’ will be needed in front of nouns in English grammar. But sometimes, no article will be needed at all before the nouns. When a noun is a thing that cannot be counted, also called as an uncountable noun, it will not use an article (a / an / the) before it.

E.g.,

  • I travel to India every year.
  • I am cooking fish for lunch.
  • Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

By following the given tips you can learn the basic technique for using articles (a / an / the) in English grammar while writing your paper. The above mentioned rules will help you to learn and also guide you for properly using articles (a / an / the) in English grammar.


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