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In English grammar, many words are used to limits the meaning ofnoun. Three of them are : a, an, and the. These words are called THE ARTICLE. And now, we will explain one by one when we use it. A. We use A when : a. Before a word beginning with a consonant sound. For example : a book a pen a teacher

b. For things we can count. For example : a boy a bag a cat

B. We use AN when : a. Before a word beginning with vowel sound (a,i, u, e, o) For example : an apple an exam an umbrella


an egg an animal

But we don’t use an for all words beginning with vowel. For example : a UNESCO (read : e yuneskou) a university (read : e yunive:rsiti) a one-eyed man (read : e wan aid mean)

b. before a word beginning with a silent ‘’h’’ For example : an hour an honest an heirr

c. For things we can count. For example : an apple an egg an umbrella

C. We use THE when : a. The thing that we are talking about have mentioned before. For example : There is a man in the café. The man is very tall. This is a new car. The car is imported from Ceko.

b. Specified by an adjective and we know which thing we mean. For example : Which bag do you want? I want the blue bag This is the best book I have ever read

c. Specified by a word, phrase, or clause. For example : The girl in blu is a doctor The road to Jakarta is very busy

d. Specified by a context or the situation in which a thing or person we mean is clear. For example : As I was strolling along the street, I looked at the clothes in the store windows My mother is cooking in the kitchen.

e. Specified by common knowledgeor we expect the listener to know which one we mean. For example : It is dark. Can you you turn the light on? Ann had to catch the train, so I took her to the station. We use THE for : Names of sea, ocean, gulf, plural lakes, river Example : The Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Persian Gulf, The Great Lakes, The Amazon River Name of mountains Example : the Rocky Mountains, The Andes, The Bukit Barisan Earth, moon, sun Example : The earth, the sun, the moon Ordinal number before nouns Example : The Second World War, the third chapter Name of war Example : the Korean War, the Civil War Name of country consisting oftwo words or more (except Great Britain) Example : the United State of America, the Central African Republic Name of continent Example : Asia, Europe, Australia, South America Name of state or province Example : Florida, Ohio, California, West Java, North Sumatera Historic document Example : the Constitution, The Magna Name of country consisting only one word Example : Indonesia, China, Canada, France, Italy Name of mountain Example : Mount Merapi, Mount Semeru, Mount Everest Name of planets (except earth), constellations Example : venus, Mars, Orion Cardinal number after nouns Example : world War Two, Chapter Three We don’t use THE for : Name of lake Example : Lake Toba, Lake Batur, Lake Erie

Charta Name of sport Example : basketball, football, tennis Noun abstract Example : freedom, happiness Name of holiday Example : Christmas, Thanksgiving, Idul Fitri, Independence Day Name of knowledge Example : sociology, mathematics, biology

We don’t use A and AN or we omit THE in the following cases : a. Before uncountable noun and they have no plural forms Example : We drink water (not we drink a water) I have information for you ( not I have an information for you) I need your advice (not need your an advice)

b. Before countable plural nouns Example : I have a lot of problems (not a lot of a problems) It takes five hours (not an five hours)

c. Before noun when we mean something in general. Example : We drink water Honesty is my principle Tina is good at Mathematics and English

d. In headlines, notices, telegrams, lists, and outlines. Example : Man found dead in car Car exploded, 5 dead


Riyanto, Slamet.,Emilia NH, and Leila NH.(2009).A Handbook of English Grammar, Yogyakarta:Pustaka Pelajar