Articles A, An and The in English Grammar

By | October 3, 2020


The articles are words a, an and the.
They define whether something is specific or unspecific.

Examples {

  • I saw a crow and an owl on the tree
  • the owl looked very funny
  • there was a bottle on the table
  • the bottle was very beautiful
  • my grandmother was a teacher

Articles are of two types

  1. The Definite Article (the)

    The is called the definite article it defines its noun as something specific
    (for example something previously known or mentioned something unique)
    Example :

    this is the river
    (this is a previously specified river ie one already known to the readers)

  2. The Indefinite Article (a,an)

    A and An are called the indefinite articles.  They define their noun as something unspecific
    (for example something mentioned for the first time something generic)

    Example :

    This is a river
    (this is a previously unspecified River)

    we use article a before a word that starts with a consonant while we use article an before word that starts with a vowel.

    Example :

    I saw earth tiger and an owl


Notes (be careful) :

  1. We use article a or an, then we use article theExamples :

    He had a pencil and an eraser to do homework he didn’t use the eraser
    We stayed in a beautiful hotel. there was alone in the hotel

  2. We use article a when the word that follows it begins with a consonant sound. We use article an when it is followed by a vowel soundExamples :

    Rajat has a university degree
    It took Rahul an hour to get school

Examples (Rigth and Wrong ):

She went to Australia     (OK)
She went to the Australia  (X)

He played chess with Raman  (OK)
He played chess with the Raman (X)

They had dinner at 10 o clock. (OK)
They had a dinner at 10 o clock (X)

There are some words that do not have an article. We do not generally use articles for countries people or meals.