The Articles

The words a, an and the are called the articles. The words a and an are indefinite articles. They are used with singular nouns. Use a before nouns that begin with a consonant. Use an before nouns that begin with a vowel.

·        Sai is reading a book.
·        Would you like a peach?
·        You’ll need a paper to write.
·        Is there also an entrance at the back of the building?
·        Have you ever seen an elephant?
·        I always take an apple to school.
·        Do you have an umbrella that I can borrow?
·        Would you like to live on an island?

The word the is called the definite article. Use the before a noun when you are talking to someone who already knows which person or thing you mean.

·        Sai is sitting in the garden.
·        He is working for the group.
·        The boys are upstairs and the girls are outside in the street.

Using Nouns without Articles

When you are talking about something in general, not a particular thing, use a noun without an article. You can also use plural nouns without an article.

·        Frogs are my favorite animals.
·        Children like playing games.
·        Babies cry a lot.
·        Glasses are things that you wear to correct your eyesight.
·        Birds are animals that can fly.
·        People enjoy watching television.

Nouns that don't show quantity are normally used without a or an. The article the, however, may be used with nouns that don't show quantity.

·        I like sunshine.
·        I sometimes have fruit for breakfast.
·        You’ve got dirt on your face.
·        A clock measures time.
·        Put sugar in your tea to make it sweet.
·        I need time to think of a new plan.

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