Articles are words which are used to point out or refer a noun.

There are only 3 Articles in English

  1. a
  2. an
  3. the

 

When to use a, an, the?

 

Example 1

  1. He is a doctor
    (He is one of many doctors, so we use "a")

  2. He is the doctor who treated me
    (He is the specific doctor who treated me, so we use "the")

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Example 2

  1. This is an apple
    (This is one of many apples,
    so we use "an" )

  2. This is the apple which fell on Newton
    (This is the specific apple
    which fell on Newton, so we use "the")

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Types of Articles

They are of 2 types

  1. Definite Articles
    They are used to tell about specific person, place or thing

  2. Indefinite Articles
    They are used to tell about something general

articles.jpg

 

Difference

  1. I saw a cow 
    The cow was of black colour

    (In first line, we are talking about any one cow, not a specific cow.
    So "a" is indefinite article) 


    (In second sentence, we are taking about a specific cow of black color.
    So "the" is a definite article)


  2. This is an elephant
    The elephant was very angry

    (In first line, we are talking about any one elephant, not a specific elephant.
    So "an" is indefinite article )


    (In second sentence, we are taking about a specific elephant who was very angry.
    So "the" is a definite article ) 

 

Summary

  1. For specific nouns, we use "the"
  2. For general nouns, we use "a" or "an"

 

Questions

You have many books, please give me .... book to read

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Please give me .......book which I gave you yesterday

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I bought .....new car

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........ car is of red color

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........... exams are starting on  10 September .

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He is ....... friend

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He is ....... friend who gave me .... gift

View Answer

 

When to use "a" or "an"?

It depends upon whether the word is vowel or Consonant. 

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About the Author

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CA Maninder Singh
CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 8 years and a teacher from the past 15 years. He teaches Spoken English, Written English, Grammar and Vocabulary at Englishtan.