Educall Language Academy
Articles are words used before nouns to make it clear exactly what the noun refers to. English has two types of articles: definite and indefinite.
1.Indenifite articles: a/an
We use the indefinite article, a/an, with countable nouns when the hearer/reader does not know exactly which one we are referring to.
Police are searching for a 14 year-old girl.
I saw an elephant at the zoo.
“a” is used before singular count nouns beginning with consonants (other than a, e, i, o, u):
a stamp, a desk, a TV, a cup, a book
“an” is used before singular count nouns beginning with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) or vowel sound:
an apple, an elephant, an issue, an orange
I need a chair. There is a dog under the table.
She eats an apple every day. There is an elephant in front of the tree.
2.Definite article: The
- We use the to refer to something which has already been mentioned,
I saw a boy on the bus today. The boy opened a bag and took out a rabbit.
There's a position available in my team. The job will involve some international travel.
- We use the when we assume there is just one of something in that place, even if it has not been mentioned before.
When we stayed at my grandmother’s house we went to the beach every day. (the beach near my grandmother’s house)
Dad, can I borrow the car? (the car that belongs to our family)
- We use the definite article with countries whose names include words like kingdom, states or republic.
the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Nepal, the United States, the People’s Republic of China etc.
- We use the definite article with countries which have plural nouns as their names.
the Netherlands; the Philippines
- We use the definite article with geographical features, such as mountain ranges, groups of islands, rivers, seas, oceans and canals.
the Himalayas, the Canaries, the Atlantic, the Atlantic Ocean, the Amazon, the Panama Canal.