Articles - A , AN or THE• In English before a noun, you often use one of three articles.• A is used for singular nouns in a general context. – A /er/ cat is a /er/ good pet. – A /er/friend of mine found a/er/ mobile phone.• An is used for singular nouns in a general context that begin with a vowel sound – An average person eats 2000 calories a day. – We had an interesting time yesterday.• The is used for singular or plural nouns that are specific or unique. – The cat we saw was black. – The earth rotates around the sun.
A or AN – Indefinite articles• These are used with singular countable nouns. – A bus, an exam, a child, an unhappy man• An is only used when the word begins with a vowel sound not just a vowel letter. – An uncle but an a university /ju:…/ (not a vowel sound) – An empty bottle but not an a eucalyptus tree• Note that for plural and uncountable nouns use some – I have some people waiting. – We need some money.
The definite article• The is used for talking about specificor unique things e.g. – the sun, the sky, the boy next door, the man at the door.• The is used the second time you mention something e.g. – A man was walking down the street. The man suddenly stopped.• The is used with certain geographical features. – Countries with of > the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Congo. – Oceans, seas and rivers > the Atlantic, the Red Sea, the River Thames.• The is used in superlative phrases. – The longest river is the Nile. – The biggest ocean is the Pacific.
No article or zero article• We do not use an article for the following contexts:• Plural nouns in general contexts – The Men are all the same. – The People are different.• Uncountable nouns in general contexts – The Time is the money. – The Fast food is bad for you• Abstract nouns – The Genius is one step from the insanity. – Knowledge can be dangerous.