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Articles

Articles are very important words in English and so is their knowledge. Articles are used before noun only to limit or define their
uses in the context of the sentences.

INDEFINITE ARTICLE: A / AN
Use 'a' with nouns starting with a consonant (letters that are not vowels),
'an' with nouns starting with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u)
A boy is waiting for you in the garden.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
A car is parked outside the house.
A house is on construction.


NOTE:
An before an h mute - an hour, an honor.
A before u and eu when they sound like 'you': a european, a university, a unit

The indefinite article is used to refer to something for the first time:
An elephant and a mouse fell in love.
Would you like a drink?
I've finally got a good job.

The definite article is used to refer to a particular member of a group or class:

Bhupesh is a doctor.
Shivang is working as an engineer.
He wants to be a dancer.

With musical instruments:

Megha Sanwal was playing a violin when the visitor arrived.

NOTE:
To describe the activity we say "He plays the violin."



With names of days:

I was born on a Thursday.


To refer to a kind of, or example of something:


The mouse had a tiny nose.
The elephant had a long trunk.
It was a very strange car.


With singular nouns, after the words 'what' and 'such':

What a shame!
She's such a beautiful girl.

Meaning 'one', referring to a single object or person:

I'd like an orange and two lemons please.
The burglar took a diamond necklace and a valuable painting.

NOTE:
Notice also that we usually say a hundred, a thousand, a million.

NOTE:
We use 'one' to add emphasis or to contrast with other numbers.

I don't know one person who likes eating elephant meat.
We've got six computers but only one printer.

Definite article: The

A definite article indicates that its noun is a particular one (or ones) identifiable to the listener. It may be something that the
speaker has already mentioned, or it may be something uniquely specified. The definite article in English, for both singular and
plural nouns, is the.

The children know the fastest way home.
The sentence above refers to specific children and a specific way home; it contrasts with the much more general observation as
the next example demonstrates.
Children know the fastest way home.
The latter sentence refers to children in general, perhaps all or most of them.

Similarly,

Give me the book.
Refers to a specific book whose identity is known or obvious to the listener; as such it has a markedly different meaning from
Give me a book.
Which does not specify what book is to be given?


The definite article can also be used in English to indicate a specific class among other classes.

The cabbage white butterfly lays its eggs on members of the Brassica genus.
The definite article is used before singular and plural nouns when the noun is specific or particular. The signals that the noun is
definite, that it refers to a particular member of a group. For example:

"The dog that bit me ran away."
Here, we're talking about a specific dog, the dog that bit me.

"I was happy to see the policeman who saved my cat!"
Here, we're talking about a particular policeman. Even if we don't know the policeman's name, it's still a particular policeman
because it is the one who saved the cat.
"I saw the elephant at the zoo."
Here, we're talking about a specific noun. Probably there is only one elephant at the zoo.

With Countable and Non-Countable nouns:

The can be used with Non-Countable nouns, or the article can be omitted entirely.

"I love to sail over the water" (some specific body of water) or "I love to sail over water" (any water).
"He spilled the milk all over the floor" (some specific milk, perhaps the milk you bought earlier that day) or "He
spilled milk all over the floor" (any milk).

"A/an" can be used only with count nouns.
"I need a bottle of water."
"I need a new glass of milk."

Most of the time, you can't say, "She wants a water," unless you're implying, say, a bottle of water.

EXCEPTIONS TO USING THE DEFINITE ARTICLE

We do not use an Definite Article in the following cases:

With names of countries (if singular)

Germany is an important economic power.
He's just returned from Zimbabwe.
(But: I'm visiting the United States next week.)

With the names of languages.

French is spoken in Tahiti.
English uses many words of Latin origin.
Indonesian is a relatively new language.

With the names of meals.

Lunch is at midday.
Dinner is in the evening.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day.

With people's names (if singular).

Neha is coming to the party.
Paramjeet Singh is my uncle.

(But: we're having lunch with the Singhs tomorrow.)

With titles and names.

Rahul is Soniyas son.
Rajiv was assassinated in Tamil Nadu.
Dr. Watson was Sherlock Holmes' friend.
(But we say the Queen of England, the Pope.)

After the ('s) possessive case.

His brother's car.
Peter's house.

With professions.

Engineering is a useful career.
He'll probably go into medicine.

With names of shops.

I'll get the card at Bhogals.
Can you go to Janpath for me?

With years.

1948 was a wonderful year.
Do you remember 1995?

With uncountable nouns.

Rice is the main food in Asia.
Milk is often added to tea in England.
War is destructive.

With the names of individual mountains, lakes and islands.

Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in Alaska.
She lives near Lake Windermere.
Have you visited Long Island?

With most names of towns, streets, stations and airports.

Rajiv Chowk Stationion is in the centre of Delhi.
Can you direct me to Khan Market?
She lives in Amritsar.
They're flying in from Mumbai.

In some fixed expressions.


by car
by train
by air
on foot
on holiday
on air (in broadcasting)
at school
at work
at University
in church
in prison
in bed