Defining Articles• Indefinite articles a and an• We use indefinite articles “a” and “an” only before singular count nouns that aren’t specific and are being mentioned for the first time.
Examples:• Examples:• I want to buy a cat.• There is a delicious cake in the fridge.• -When do we use “a”?• We use “a” before a noun or an adjective+noun that begins with a consonant sound.• -When do we use “an”?• We use “an” before a noun or an ajective+noun that begins with a vowel sound.
Important!• Letters like “H” and “U” can be problematic. Sometimes they will sound like vowels and other times they will sound like consonant.i.e: Hour -> an hour Hobo -> a hobo University -> a university Umbrella -> an umbrella
Definite article theThe is to be used when:•When we are talking about somethingspecific: – The dog that lives in my neighbor’s house is so cute! – The car I bought from my sister is good as a new one.
• When the speaker and the listener are talking about the same specific item. – “Don’t forget to close the door, son!”• When we are referring to something the second time and in all other references to the same noun. – First reference: Mom, I bought a new car last week. – Second reference: The car is red! I know it is your favorite color.
• When we use the superlative form of an adjective, which means with the word most or with the ending –est. – This is the most wonderful/best place I’ve ever been to!• For names of countries that look plural, including the ones that end in –s or have the words united, union, republic, or kingdom: – The United States of America, The Philippines…
• For parts of something, like parts of a place, of an object… Except for body parts. – I went to my friend’s new apartment yesterday. Her bedroom is beautiful! The walls are red and there are lots of paintings, the bed is very large and cozy.• Use it with most bodies of water except individual lakes. – The Mississippi River.
• Use it with geographic parts of the globe and geographic areas, deserts and peninsulas. – The equator. – The north.
No article• There are some cases in English that don’t need the use of articles.• When don’t we put articles?• When you want to talk about a category or group in general.• Dogs are man’s best friends.
• Before abstract nouns like feelings or ideas.• Ignorance is bliss.• Patience is a virtue.
Teaching Articles to ELLs• When planning a class about articles, the T must know the native language of those being taught. By doing this, the T has to study how many articles there are and how the articles are used in their native tongue.
• When teaching languages that have no articles the concept of what is an article must be introduced.• When teaching languages that have only one article, one must know how this article is used and try to adapt the content of the class to the Ss reality.• Some languages have as many articles as English does. However, these articles may not behave the same way they do in English; or cannot be used in the same situations to express the same ideas.