What are Articles? | Types and Where we use A, An and The

Today we will understand articles in English grammar which are mainly a, an and the.

What are articles?

Articles are words used before nouns and they modifies nouns as they give more information about nouns. Articles define functions as adjectives in the sentence, whether a noun is used in a specific context or general context. We can see three articles in English grammar a, an and the. 

Types of articles:-

These articles are categorized into two parts as per their usage:-

  1. Indefinite articles.
  2. Definite articles.

Indefinite article:-

The indefinite articles are used when we talk about people in a general or indefinite way. Indefinite articles are used to precede a noun that is not a specific person, place, or thing, instead it indicates that it is a general member of a class of nouns. We use article ’a’ before the words which begin with consonant sounds and use  ‘an’ before the words beginning with vowel sounds.

If some words start with a vowel letter but begin with a consonant sound then we use the article,’a’ before these words.

Let’s see some examples of Indefinite article:-

  • I have a pet pussy cat.
  • An airplane is flying in the sky.
  • She is a doctor.
  • They bought an apple.
  • He is an Indian. 
  • She had an umbrella in her hand.
  • He is a European.
  • This is a unique idea.
  • He teaches at a university
Where do we use Indefinite articles?
  • We use Indefinite articles like ‘a’ or ‘an’ before singular countable nouns.

For example:-

  1. She wants a rabbit  for her birthday.
  2. The dog  is an animal.
  3. I saw an ostrich in the zoo.
  4. He has a bike.
  • We also use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before the names of occupations and professions.

For example:-

  1. He is an electrical engineer.
  2. His father is a doctor.
  3. Shamik is an english teacher.
  4. Rahul is an athlete.
  5. Raja is a chef.
  • We also can  use ‘a’, ‘an’ before an adjective in a noun phrase.

For example:-

  1. Riya is a good girl.
  2. Rahul told me an interesting story.
  3. I saw a gorgeous movie.
  4. Jiya told her an amazing fact.
  • An’ is used with abbreviations beginning with the letter that has a vowel sound.

For example:-

  1. His father is an M.P.
  2. He is an N.R.I.
  3. He got an X-Ray done.
  • We use a or an with the noun to express a quantity, units of price, speed, ratio, weight etc.

For Example:-

  1. I need a dozen bananas.
  2. I need to buy a couple of pens.
  3. This car gives 35 km a liter.
  4. You can run a kilometer in just 1.5 minutes.

Definite articles:-

  • ‘The’ is a definite article. Definite article can be used before any common noun.

For Example:-

  1. He threw the football into the pond.
  2. The mother is taking care of the baby.
  3. The boys were not in the stadium.
  4. Ram will go to the school next week.
  5. I study with him at the university.
  6. He is playing with the dog.
Where do we use definite articles?
  • We use ‘The’ to refer to the things that are only one in the world or unique.

For Example:-

  1. The star is falling from the sky.
  2. The sun rises in the east.
  3. The sky is blue.
  4. The president of India will be announcing something special today
  5. The sun sets in the west.
  6. The earth is called a blue planet.
  • We also used ‘The’ to refer to the parts of the body.

For Example:-

  1. The kidney of Rakesh is damaged.
  2. Smoking is harmful for the lungs.
  3. He caught him by the neck.
  4. He had an injury to the head.
  5. The heart pumps blood in the body.
  6. The kidneys purify our blood.
  • The definite article is used before dates or periods of time not the years.

For Example:-

  1. They married on the 21st April.
  2. It is a popular song of the 1950s.
  3. She has her birthday on the 20th of December.
We never use ‘The’ in years:-

The 2007 was a wonderful year.

  • 2007 was a wonderful year.

He was born in the 1997. 

  • He was born in 1997.

I hope after reading this article you have cleared all doubts about Articles, if there anything else you can comment below.

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