Articles Definition and Types with Example

Definition – An article is a word that is used to specify a noun. In literal terms Articles is basically an adjective which is used to refer to Nouns. Ex. A Doctor, an honest man , The Indian ocean

Articles are basically three words “A”, “An” or “The” who are used based on certain rules which will be discussed later on.

Types of Articles –

  1. Indefinite Articles – “A” or “An” is called Indefinite articles because it leaves indefinite the person or thing spoken of or We can say its used before a noun which is not defined in particular and referred as in general , for ex – an able man, a horse, a boy, an Elephant
  2. Definite Article – “The” is called definite article as it points out some particular thing or person, for ex- The Doctor, The club, The Bus. here we are certain about the objects we are referring to and hence definite article.

Rules for Articles usage –

Definite Article

  1. When we speak of a particular person or thing, or one already referred to – for ex
    • Let us go to the club ( here we are referring to a particular club we already knew)
    • I dislike the fellow (Pointing to a certain person)
  2. When a singular noun is used to represent a whole class, for ex
    • The rose is sweetest of all flowers.
    • The dog is the most faithful animal.
  3. With names of gulfs, rivers, seas, oceans, groups of islands and mountain ranges for ex
    • The Gulf of Saint Lawrence
    • The Thames
    • The Pacific Ocean
    • The British isles
    • The Himalayas
  4. Before the names of certain important books
    • The Bible, The Ramayana, The Vedas
  5. Before common nouns which are names of things of unique kind
    • The Sun
    • The Sky
    • The Earth
  6. With superlatives
    • The great Caesar
    • The immortal Shakespeare
  7. With ordinals
    • He was the first man to arrive.
    • The second chapter of book is most adventurous.
  8. Before musical instruments
    • He can play the flute.
    • The Violin is most difficult musical instrument.
  9. As an Adverb with comparatives as :
    • The more the merrier
    • The more they get, the more they want

Indefinite Article

  1. In its original numerical sense of one; as
    • 10 millimeter makes a centimeter
    • A bird in hand is worth two in the bush
  2. In the sense of any, to single out an individual as the representative of the class
    • A cow is an useful animal.
    • A pupil should obey his teacher.
  3. To make a common noun of a proper noun
    • A Robert come to judgement.

A or An – Which indefinite article to be used ?

  • The choice between “A” or “An” is determined by sound. Before a word beginning with a vowel sound “an” is used; for ex –
 An ass, An enemy, An orange,An hour, An honest man, an heir

Point here to be noted that the words hour,honest begins with a vowel sound as the initial consonant h is not pronounced.

  • Before a word beginning with a consonant sound “a” is used; for ex
A boy, A woman,A yard, A university,A unicorn

Here are few example for exercise , Complete the following sentence with A, An or the.

Exercise – Fill article in blanks

  • Copper is ___ useful metal
  • He is not __ honourable man
  • __ able man has not always a distinguished look
  • Do you see __ blue sky
  • Aladdin had __ wonderful lamp
  • __ Sun shines brightly
  • Sanskrit is __ difficult language
  • You are __ fool to say that
  • French is __ easy language
  • __ French defeated __ Germans
  • She is __ untidy girl
  • If you see him, give him __ message
  • Let us discuss __ matter seriously

**With certain references from Wren & Martin

For More English Grammar Lessons, Please refer here.

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