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Articles

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To help you learn a little about articles

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Articles

  1. 1. Articles Determiners: A An or The?
  2. 2. The and a/an are called &quot;articles&quot;. <ul><li>We divide them into &quot;definite&quot; and &quot;indefinite&quot; like this: </li></ul><ul><li>Articles </li></ul><ul><li>Definite Indefinite </li></ul><ul><li>the a, an </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definite Articles <ul><li>We use &quot;definite&quot; to mean sure, certain. &quot;Definite&quot; is particular. </li></ul><ul><li>the = definite article (a specific object that both the person speaking and the listener know) </li></ul><ul><li>The car over there is fast. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher is very good, isn't he? </li></ul>
  4. 4. First time you speak of something use &quot;a or an&quot; <ul><li>Next time you repeat that object use &quot;the&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>I live in a house. The house is quite old and has four bedrooms. </li></ul><ul><li>I ate in a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant was very good. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Indefinite Articles <ul><li>We use &quot;indefinite&quot; to mean not sure, not certain. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Indefinite&quot; is general. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Here are the rules for when to use &quot;A, An or The&quot;: <ul><li>a = indefinite article (not a specific object, one of a number of the same objects) with consonants </li></ul><ul><li>She has a dog. </li></ul><ul><li>I work in a factory. </li></ul><ul><li>an = indefinite article (not a specific object, one of a number of the same objects) with vowels (a,e,i,o,u) </li></ul><ul><li>Can I have an apple? </li></ul><ul><li>She is an English teacher. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>the = definite article (a specific object that both the person speaking and the listener know) </li></ul><ul><li>The car over there is fast. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher is very good, isn't he? </li></ul><ul><li>The first time you speak of something use &quot;a or an&quot;, the next time you repeat that object use &quot;the&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>I live in a house. The house is quite old and has four bedrooms. </li></ul><ul><li>I ate in a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant was very good. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Use an article with bodies of water, oceans and seas </li></ul><ul><li>My country borders on the Pacific Ocean </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT use an article with countries, states, counties or provinces, lakes and mountains except when the country is a collection of states such as &quot;The United States&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>He lives in Washington near Mount Rainier. </li></ul><ul><li>They live in northern British Columbia. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>DO NOT use an article when you are speaking about things in general </li></ul><ul><li>I like Russian tea. </li></ul><ul><li>She likes reading books. </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT use an article when you are speaking about meals, places, and transport </li></ul><ul><li>He has breakfast at home. </li></ul><ul><li>I go to university. </li></ul><ul><li>He comes to work by taxi. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Examples <ul><li>Think of the sky at night. In the sky we see 1 moon and millions of stars. So normally we would say: </li></ul><ul><li>I saw the moon last night. </li></ul><ul><li>I saw a star last night. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>the </li></ul><ul><li>The capital of France is Paris. </li></ul><ul><li>I have found the book that I lost. </li></ul><ul><li>Have you cleaned the car? </li></ul><ul><li>There are six eggs in the fridge. </li></ul><ul><li>Please switch off the TV when you finish. </li></ul><ul><li>a, an </li></ul><ul><li>I was born in a town. </li></ul><ul><li>John had an omelette for lunch. </li></ul><ul><li>James Bond ordered a drink. </li></ul><ul><li>We want to buy an umbrella. </li></ul><ul><li>Have you got a pen? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Of course, often we can use the or a/an for the same word. It depends on the situation, not the word. Look at these examples: <ul><li>We want to buy an umbrella. (Any umbrella, not a particular umbrella.) </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the umbrella? (We already have an umbrella. We are looking for our umbrella, a particular umbrella.) </li></ul>
  13. 13. This little story should help you understand the difference between the and a, an : <ul><li>A man and a woman were walking on Oxford Street. The woman saw a dress that she liked in a shop. She asked the man if he could buy the dress for her. He said: &quot;Do you think the shop will accept a cheque? I don't have a credit card.&quot; </li></ul>
  14. 14. &quot;A &quot; goes before all words that begin with consonants. <ul><li>a cat </li></ul><ul><li>a dog </li></ul><ul><li>a purple onion </li></ul><ul><li>a buffalo </li></ul><ul><li>a big apple </li></ul>
  15. 15. Exception <ul><li>Use an before unsounded h . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an h onorable peace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>an h onest error </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. &quot;An&quot; goes before all words that begin with vowels: <ul><li>an apricot </li></ul><ul><li>an egg </li></ul><ul><li>an Indian </li></ul><ul><li>an orbit </li></ul><ul><li>an uprising </li></ul>
  17. 17. Exceptions <ul><li>When u makes the same sound as the y in y ou , or o makes the same sound as w in w on , then a is used. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a union </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a united front </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a unicorn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a used napkin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a U.S. ship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a one-legged man </li></ul></ul>

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