Problems with articles


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Problems with articles

  1. 1. Problems with Articles a/an, the
  2. 2. Usually there is no article before the name of a place name, BUT use “the” before the name of a place that is plural.
  3. 3. I lived in Japan. BUT He lived in the United States.
  4. 4. The hurricane formed over Jamaica, BUT Katrina formed over the Bahamas.
  5. 5. But none of the “rules” work completely! Katrina hit New Orleans. (English speakers don’t follow the rule because they don’t even know that New Orleans is plural—it is from French.)
  6. 6. However, usually a plural place name has “the.” Recently, a terrible storm hit the Philippines. He is from the Netherlands = He is from Holland.
  7. 7. We live in the United States. Tatiana is from Russia. She is from the former Soviet Union.
  8. 8. At first, Katrina was a Category 1 hurricane. No article with Katrina because is is a singular name. We give hurricanes the names of people. This is the first time I’ve mentioned the storm category, so I use “a.”
  9. 9. Katrina was one of the largest disasters in U.S. history because of the failure of the levee systems. I’m not talking about failure in general. I’m talking about a specific event –the fact that the levees broke and caused flooding. We often use “the” for a specific noun that you are picturing in your head when you say it.
  10. 10. There was great criticism of the way the government handled the crisis. I’m talking about a specific way and a specific crisis.
  12. 12. O n the afternoon of Jan. 12, 2010, I’m talking about a specific afternoon. HOWEVER, don’t an article with an actual date: On Jan. 12, 2010,
  13. 13. The country of Haiti was struck “The” is for a specific country, BUT Don’t use it with the country name: Haiti was struck
  14. 14. by a devastating earthquake. I use “a” because it’s the first time I have mentioned it.
  15. 15. that measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale. I am describing a specific kind of scale.
  16. 16. The epicenter of the quake Now I am continuing to talk about an earthquake that I have already mentioned, so I use “the.”
  17. 17. was near Leogane, a town approximately 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital.
  18. 18. We use “a” when we define things or explain the location of things: Leogan is a town in Haiti. Laney is a community college in Oakland. A hurricane is a very powerful wind storm.
  19. 19. According to the Haitian government I am telling you which government
  20. 20. at least 230,000 were killed, 300,000 injured, and 1,000,000 left homeless. There was extremely severe damage. NO ARTICLE Never use “a/an” with a non-noun noun because a = one.
  21. 21. Would you like a cup of tea? Would you like (some/any) tea?
  22. 22. However, you can use “the” with a non-count noun: The meat we had for dinner was spoiled, so we all go sick.
  23. 23. Permafrost
  24. 24. 2. into the atmosphere (= the atmosphere that is around the Earth)
  25. 25. 3. A research team– it’s the first time I have mentioned this research team, and we don’t know anything about them yet.
  26. 26. 4. A research team led by the GeoBiosphere Science Center (The name identifies the specific center I am talking about.)
  27. 27. 5. Research shows that part of the soil No article with expressions like some of, most of, part of But we say a few of, a lot of
  28. 28. BE CAREFUL! “few” and “a few” have different meanings. “Quite a few” is a third meaning!
  29. 29. BE CAREFUL! “few” and “a few” have different opposite connotations.
  30. 30. “a few” is positive— I have read a few books about the subject. This emphasizes that I have read something.
  31. 31. “few” is negative— I have read few books about the subject. This emphasizes that I have not read very many.
  32. 32. The same thing happens with “little” and “a little.”
  33. 33. He has little money = He doesn’t have much money. He is poor
  34. 34. He has a little money = He has some money. He can buy something.
  35. 35. “quite a few” = a lot They have quite a few children = a lot of children. (In the U.S., that means four or more.)
  36. 36. connotation = a feeling about a word She’s fat. She’s heavy. (more positive connotation)
  37. 37. OR 5. Research shows that the part of the soil Later in the sentence, you see what part of the soil you are talking point.
  38. 38. 6. part of the soil The soil that we have been talking about. Soil is non-count, so never use “a.”
  39. 39. 7. the team announced (the team that we previously mentioned)
  40. 40. 8. is more damaging to the atmosphere
  41. 41. 9. than carbon dioxide (usually no article with non-count substances like air, gas, water, etc.
  42. 42. 10. in discussion (In this sentence, discussion is non-count, so you cannot use a.)
  43. 43. Plastic Pollution: Answer Key 10. The 11. a 12. no article 13. an 14. the 15. the 16. The 17. the 18. no article 19. the 20. the 21. no article 22. the 23. the
  44. 44. Plastic Pollution: Answer Key 13. an environmental hazard
  45. 45. Problem with using an instead of a. The rule is that a changes to and before a vowel SOUND—it goes by the letter and not by the sound.
  46. 46. an umbrella an unhappy face an interesting story an awful time BUT a useful tool an honest man Use an before a vowel SOUND.