Articles a/an, the



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Articles

a/an, the or zero article (O)

Prepared by Karimov Bunyod

Group 654-18

Summary

  • a/an shows that we are talking about one person or thing: This is a book.
  • a/an says what something is: She’s an engineer.
  • The usually indicates that we know which thing is being talked about: The Queen’s name is Elizabeth II.
  • Nouns used without articles often have a special meaning (abstract nouns or things in general).

a or an?


Consonants and vowel sounds
  • book
  • coat
  • orange
  • umbrella
  • university
  • house
  • hotel
  • European country

Countable and uncountable nouns

  • a/an is only used before singular countable nouns
  • zero article (O) is used for uncountable nouns. It is often used to describe what something is made of.

Put a/an or nothing (O)

  • Jakes’ father makes _(O)_ films
  • I need new bicycle.
  • I never drink milk.
  • Jane is old friend.
  • Their house is made of wood.
  • I often listen to music.
  • That child wants new shoes.
  • My room has got really big window.

We often use a/an to talk about something for the first time; and the when we talk about the person or thing again.

A man walked up to a policeman. The man took out a map and asked the policeman for help.

Talking about something / somebody both speaker and listener know about.

  • Could you close the door?

  • (You know which door.)
  • He looked at the moon.

  • (There’s only one.)
  • She came on the 8.15 train. (You know which train – I’m telling you.)
  • How much is the red coat? (You know which one – I’m telling you.)

THE A/AN
  • Could you open a window?
  • (I don’t mind which one.)

  • Let’s go and see a film. (I don’t mind which one.)
  • He looked at a tree. (There may be more than one, and the one he’s looking at is not specified.)
  • I’ve just bought a new coat.
  • (Not specific.)

Superlatives and ordinal numbers – which article?

  • Mount Everest is tallest mountain.
  • Yesterday was hottest day of the year.
  • We are fastest runners in the group.
  • What time is first train tomorrow?
  • Who was last person to leave the classroom?

Add a/an or the

  • This is a true story. Last year I went into 1

  • big sports shop because I wanted 2 sports bag. 3 assistant came up to me, and I told him what I wanted. 4 assistant brought me three different bags. I chose 5 smallest one and paid for it. 6 assistant put 7 bag in 8

    large plastic bag. He did so, but he looked very unhappy as I walked out of 9 shop.


We use a/an when we say what something is, or what job somebody does:

  • I’m a pilot.
  • Canada is a big country.
  • My sister is an electrician.

Talking in general – the or nothing (O)


GENERAL

(O) People are funny. I like (O) music.

(O) Sugar is fattening. She’s interested in (O)

dogs and (O) horses.


PARTICULAR

The people in that house are funny.

The music is too loud. Could you pass the sugar?

Why are the dogs barking?

Names without the

  • People:

  • (O) Mary works for (O) Dr Andrews.
  • Languages:

  • Sorry, I don’t speak (O) French.
  • Most place names: He’s from (O) Spain.

  • (O) Africa (O) Cuba (O) England (O) Dublin

    (O) Australia (O) Lake Geneva (O) Piccadilly Circus

Names with the

  • Deserts, rivers, seas, oceans (NOT LAKES)

the Thames the Rhine

the Atlantic

the Sahara

the Mediterranean
  • Plural names

  • the Netherlands

the United States/the USA
  • Expressions with Republic/Kingdom etc.

  • the Czech Republic the UK
  • Large areas of the world:

  • the West the Middle East

the Far East

Organisations

Buildings with the

  • Most names of buildings:

the Hilton Hotel the British Museum

the Eiffel Tower the Great Pyramids


  • EXCEPTIONS: place-name + airport, station, cathedral, university, palace, castle, school etc.

  • (O) Buckingham Palace (O) Oxford University

    (O) Didcot Junior School
  • name + possessive

  • (O) St Paul’s Cathedral

(O) McDonald’s
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