ARTICLESTeaching Articles to English Language Learners. Lara Botelho Neiva da Cunha
BibliographyIntermediate Grammar – From Form to Meaning and UseSusan Kesner BlandOxford University PressGrammar for English Language Teachers – With exercises and a KeyMartin ParrotCambridge University PressKeys to Teaching Grammar to English Language LearnersA Practical HandbookKeith S. FolseMichigan Teacher Training
Articles Let me ask you a question!!! How articles are used within your nativelanguage?
Articles• Some languages have no articles at all: Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.• Arabic has a definite article.• Some languages have articles that appear to be equivalent to the articles in English, but usages do not overlap exactly: French, German, Spanish.
Articles• So a common error for some language groups learning English is to omit all articles because their language have no articles.• There is a very important rule in ENGLISH: Use an article of any kind before asingular count noun.
Reviewing COUNT NOUNS AND NON-COUNT NOUNS Do you know the difference between COUNT and NON-COUNTnouns Lets see some examples to review.• Nouns that name things you can count are called count nouns. Count nouns can be singular or plural.a house some housesa book ten booksmy cousin my cousinsone reason reasons
Reviewing COUNT NOUNS AND NON-COUNT NOUNS * Nouns that cannot be counted are called non-count nouns.FOODS: sugar, rice, flour, salt, mustard...LIQUIDS: milk, water, juice, coffee, oil...IDEAS and FEELINGS:honesty, importance, intelligence, peace, wisdom, love, hate (abstractnouns)...NATURE: snow, scenery, thunder, sunlight, hail...COLLECTIVE WORDS:luggage, furniture, advice, research, homework, clothing, fruit, vocabularymakeup, money...The word fruit is generally non-count, but the word vegetable is count.Homework is non-count, but assignment is count. There seems to be no wayto predict whether a given word is count or non-count.
Articles in English• Articles belong to the wider class of determiner, words or phrases that come at the beginning of a noun phrase.• Articles tell us something about quantity.THE ARTICLES ARE• Indefinite article: A or AN• Definite article: The• No articles
Articles in English• a book an uggly elephant• a beautiful girl an egg• a car an old astronaut• a rectangular table an apple• the United States the clouds• the Pacific Ocean the umbrellas• the Earth the red books• the Mississipi River the animals
Articles in English• Articles signal whether the information is new or familiar. I ordered a steak and a salad. The steak wasgreat but the salad was awful. I bought a shirt and a pair of pants. The shirtis blue and the pants are gray. I take my child to a park every afternoon.Most of the times, I take him to the park nearby.
Articles in English• Articles signal whether the information is general or specific. All of us have an umbrella. (general) The umbrella next to the door is not mine.(specific)
Articles in English• Every time we use a noun we have to decide whether or not to use an ARTICLE, and if we decide that an article is necessary, we then have to decide which one.• Sometimes no article is used: I dont like coffee, but I love chocolate. We are having ice cream for dessert.• These choices are based on a complex interaction of factors including meaning, shared knowledge, context and whether the noun is singular, plural or uncountable.
GRAMMAR EXPLANATION Indefinite Articles A and AN. The indefinite articles A and AN are used ONLYbefore singular count nouns that are not specific and arebeing mentioned for the first time. Somethingunexpected or something that our listener or reader isunaware of. Generalizations with A or AN plus a singular countnoun often take the form of definitions. They are used toclassify people, animal, and things.• A locksmith is a person who makes and repairs locks and keys.• A penguin is a small black and white bird that lives in the Antartic.• An igloo is a dwelling that is made of ice.• A tulip is a flower that grows from a bulb.
Indefinite Articles A and AN• Use A before a noun or an adjective + noun that begins with a consonant sound. a boy a tall boy• Use AN before a noun or an adjective + noun that begins with a vowel sound. an intelligent boy an idea an absurd idea
Important observations! Remember that words begining with the letters h or u can beproblematic. The use of A and AN depends on the begining sound of theword, not its spelling.• a hat• a house Observe that the words begin with the consonant sound h.• a heroe• a hospital• an hour Observe that the word begins with a vowel sound because de letter h is silent.• an honest person• a university Observe that the words begin with the consonant sound y.• a unique name• an umbrella Observe that the words begin with a vowel sound.• an honest man
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The There are several different situations inwhich we use the definite article THE in English.
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The1) Use THE when you are talking about somethingspecific. • We decided to buy a car. • The car we bought was red. • The book that is on sale is on the counter. • Please pass the pepper.The listener can identify the nouns if the noun is unique(theres only one). • The earth revolves around the sun every twenty- four hours. • The capital of Italy is Rome.
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The2) Use THE when the speaker and the listenerare talking about the same specific item. • There are several packages in the car. I need some help. • III take one. Can you carry the others?
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The3) Use THE for the second and all otherreferences to the same noun. • Jane would like to buy a new book. (First reference) But the book she had chosen is very expensive. (Second reference) • James and I bought a new computer last month. (First reference) The computer lets us access the Internet really quickly. (Second reference)
ARTICLESComplete the sentences with the correct article(A, AN or THE):• There is ____ football game and ____ concert on Sunday. What time is ____ football game going to start It is raining. You will need ____ raincoat and _____ umbrella. Where did you put ____ umbrella?• Do you have _____ baby-sitter? How much do you pay _____ baby-sitter?
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The4) Use THE with the superlative form of anadjective, which means with the word most orwith the ending -est. Superlative • In a jewelry store, diamonds are the most expensive item. • My boss gets the most mail in our office.
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The5) Use THE with the names of countries that look plural,including countries that end in -s or have the wordsunited, union, republic, or kingdom. the Philippines the Netherlands the United States the Soviet Union the Dominican Republic the Republic of Angola the United Kingdom the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The6) Use the for the parts of something. • General: In a Kitchen, there is a stove, a refrigerator, and a clock. • Parts: I went to Marys new house last night. Her kitchen is beautiful. The refrigerator is silver, the stove is black, and the clock above the door has really big numbers on it.EXCEPTION: In general, we do not use THE for bodyparts.
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The7) Use THE with most bodies of water exceptindividual lakes. the Mississipi River the Pacific Ocean the Mediterranean Sea the Great Lakes (but Lake Michigan)
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The8) Use THE with geographical parts of theglobe, and geographic areas, deserts, andpeninsulas. the equator the Middle East the Gobi Desert the South
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: The9) General statements with THE are frequentlyused to refer to musical instruments. • I used to play the piano, but now I only play the violin.
NO ARTICLEIn English there are few situations in which wedo not use any article with a noun.In these cases, many other languages requirethe use of THE, so a common ELL error isoveruse of THE.
NO ARTICLE RULES 1) When you want to talk about a category orgroup in general, use no article.General: Cats can be great pets.Specific: The cats in the pet store are expensive. Sometimes we use a noun to make a generalstatement about a whole class or group ofobjects, events, or nouns. The noun represents all othernouns of its classs or group. No articles are used withthem. Spiders are insects. I like rice.
NO ARTICLE 2) Use no article before abstract nouns suchas feelings or ideas. Patience is a virtue. 3) General statements made with plural countnouns without articles or noncount nouns canexpress opinions, likes, and dislikes. Opinion: Dogs make good pets. Likes: I like spiders. Dislikes: I dont like rice.
THIS TABLE SHOWS THE CHOICES WE CAN MAKE SINGULAR UNCOUNTABLE PLURAL NOUNS NOUNS NOUNS a bookA or AN an egg  books  riceNo article  universities  waterTHE the book the books the rice