What Is Article English Grammar Ielts Exams Preparation
There are two Articles – a (or an) and the.
1-The words a or an and the are called Articles. They come before nouns.
Use of the Definite Article
The Definite Article the is used-
(1) When we talk about a particular person or thing, or one already referred to (that is,
when it is clear from the context which one already referred to (that is, when it is clear.
From the constant which one we mean); as,
The book you want is out of print. (Which book? The one you want.)
Let’s go to the park. (= the park in this town)
The girl cried, (the girl = the girl already talked about)
(2) When a singular noun is meant to represent a whole class; as,
The cow is a useful animal.
The cat loves comfort.
The rose is the sweetest of all flowers.
The banyan is a kind of fig tree.
[Do not say, “a kind of a fig tree”. This is a common error.]
The two nouns man and woman can be used in a general sense without either article.
Man is the only animal that uses fire.
Woman is man’s mate.
Before some proper names, viz., these kinds of place-names:
(a) oceans and seas, e.g. the Pacific, the black Sea
(b) canals, e.g. the Suez Canal
(c) rivers, e.g. the Indus river, the Nile
(d) deserts, e.g. the Sahara
2-The is called the Definite Article, because it normally points out some particular
person or thing; as,
He saw the doctor; meaning some particular doctor. The indefinite article is used before
singular countable nouns, e.g.
A book, art orange, a girl
The definite article is used before singular countable nouns, plural countable nouns and
uncountable nouns, e.g., The book, the books, the milk.
3-A or an is called the Indefinite Article, because it usually leaves indefinite the
person or thing spoken of; as, A doctor; that is, any doctor.
A or An
4-The choice between a and an is determined by sound. Before a word beginning with
a vowel sound an is used; as,
An ass, an enemy, an ink-pad, an orange, an umbrella, an hour, an honest man. An heir.
It will be noticed that the words hour, honest, heir begin with a vowel sound, as the initial
consonant h is not pronounced,
Before a word beginning with a consonant sound a is used; as,
A boy, a reindeer, a woman, a yard, a horse, a hole, also a university,, a union, a
European, a ewe, a unicorn, a useful article.
Use of the Indefinite Article
The Indefinite Article is used
1-In the sense of any, to single out an individual as the representative of a class; as,
A pupil should obey his teacher.
A cow is a useful animal.
2-In the vague sense of a certain; as,
A Kishore Kumar (= a certain person named Kishore Kumar)
is suspected by the police.
One evening a beggar came to my door.
3-In its original numerical sense of one; as,
Twelve inches make a foot.
Not a word was said.
A word to the wise is sufficient.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
To make a common noun of a proper noun; as,
A Daniel comes to judgement! (A Daniel = a very wise man)