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Articles in English Grammar Part #1

In this post we will learn what are Articles, how to use its, when to use tis, and how many types are they.

What Are Articles?

Articles are words that define a noun as specific or unspecific.


A, an, the

Articles: the before general concepts

We use the before nouns which describe a general type of thing rather than a specific example of that thing:

  • Nature is the best physician.
  • The boy sitting next to me raised his hand.
  • Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan.
  • Thank you for the advice you gave me.
  • A barking sound the Shepherd hears.

The is also used before abstract nouns which describe a situation, a quality, process Or a change. These words are often followed by of something.

  • There is a problem with the availability of clean water in some villages.
  • He made a number of recommendations for the improvement of staff training.

We use the development / improvement, etc. of something to describe a general process of change, but developments / improvements, etc. in something to describe specific changes

  • There is a need for further improvement in our work.
  • By improving this work, we can develop our business

Articles: a/an before noun phrases

  • Use a before consonant sounds
  • Use an before vowel sounds

An elephant                                         a European

An ice-cream                                       a cat

An old man                                          a dog

An onion                                              a boy

An interesting book                              a tree

Don’t forget to include a/an before an adjective + singular noun combination.

  • That was an excellent meal.
  • There came a cat to my door.
  • Kolkata is a big city.
  • India won by an innings and three runs.
  • He died a glorious death.
  • That’s an amazing bit of news.

Notice the position of adverbs (very, really, quite, etc.) in these phrases:

  • His family is very poor.
  • This flower is very beautiful.
  • You both are really good friends.
  • Are you really a soldier?
  • This question is quite difficult.
  • In my view, this is quite a strong argument.

Some common noun phrases to be careful with:

To a certain extent / degree:

• I agree with you to a certain degree.

A wide range / variety:

• We have a wide range of books to choose from.

A (n) large / small / equal number / amount:

• An equal number of men and women.

a high / large / small / greater proportion / percentage:

• A small proportion of patients.

a long time:

• I haven’t seen her for a long time.

Thank you so much!!