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 –
- 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
- 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 –
- 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)
- 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.
- 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
- Before the names of certain important books
- The Bible, The Ramayana, The Vedas
- Before common nouns which are names of things of unique kind
- The Sun
- The Sky
- The Earth
- With superlatives
- The great Caesar
- The immortal Shakespeare
- With ordinals
- He was the first man to arrive.
- The second chapter of book is most adventurous.
- Before musical instruments
- He can play the flute.
- The Violin is most difficult musical instrument.
- As an Adverb with comparatives as :
- The more the merrier
- The more they get, the more they want
- In its original numerical sense of one; as
- 10 millimeter makes a centimeter
- A bird in hand is worth two in the bush
- 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.
- 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.