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A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar

by Sep 13, 2019English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar

A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar

A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar

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A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar

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A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar

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Asked by @ Bayram Akyüz (Community Student)

A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar

Answered by @ Elo Kasia

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A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar

 

A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar Articles – ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ | English Grammar

 

 

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A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar Question Time: When to use articles a, an and the?

 

A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar  @ Bayram Akyüz, Thank you for your question

A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar  As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.

 

Today, I will talk about three very small but important words in the English language: a, an and the, which are called articles. You use these words in almost every sentence that you speak or write. Many students find them problematic, so I will try to explain them using simple language and giving plenty of examples.
 
 
A/an and the are articles which are used to modify a noun (a person, place, object, or idea.) There are two types of articles, “a/an” are called indefinite articles and “the” is called a definite article.
 
 
Indefinite articles are the words ‘a’ and ‘an.’ They are used to refer to a non-specific person, place, object, or idea. It can be any noun from a group of nouns. When we mention something for the first time, we usually use a/an.
 
 
  • I’ve got a car. (there are many cars and I have one).
  • Can I ask a question? (there are many questions and I’m going to ask one)
  • Is there a supermarket near here? (there are many supermarkets, is there one near here?)
  • Rome is an old city. (there are many old cities and Rome is one of them)
  • John is a teacher. (there are many teachers and John is one of them).
 
 
The definite article “the” refers directly to a specific noun or groups of nouns. It is used when there is only one of something, when we have mentioned the thing/person before or it is understood what we are referring to.
 
 
Look at these examples and compare them with the previous examples of “a/an”.
 
 
  • I’m going to clean the car tomorrow. (=my car, or the car I have previously mentioned)
  • Can you repeat the question, please? (=the question that you asked)
  • Where is the nearest supermarket? (=the one that is the nearest)
  • Rome is the capital of Italy. (=there is only capital)
  • John is the best teacher in our school. (=there is only one best teacher).
 
 
When we talk about something for the first time, we use “a/an”, then once we know what thing we are talking about we use “the.”
 
 
  • I bought a skirt and a vest. The skirt is blue and the vest is black. (=the skirt and vest that I bought).
 
 
We usually use “the” when we know which thing or person we mean.
 
 
 
For example, when we are
 
 
  • – in the house, we say: the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom, etc.
  • – in the room: the window (if there is only one), the floor, the ceiling, the sofa, the light
  • – in the city: the airport, the city centre, the townhall, the library, the bank
 
 
Using articles correctly is sometimes a challenge. The only way you master them is by practising as much as you can. A good rule is to remember if you are talking about something unspecific, one of many or for the first time, use “a/an”. For specific things and people, use “the.”
 
 
Make sure you follow our *TT exercises throughout the week to gain confidence and fluency in using English articles.
 
 
 
 
 
 

A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar Elo Kasia

A, An, and The: how to use articles in English Grammar

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