You are on page 1of 3

Indefinite Article ‘a’ or ‘an’ and The Definite Article ‘the’.

1. Use ‘a’, or ‘an’ and ‘a’ and ‘an’ when…

a a / an an
- Before a word that starts with - Before the singular countable nouns; - Before a word that starts with a
consonant sounds a girl a tiger a school vowel sound of a,e,i,o,u.
an airport an island an old woman, an easy question
- Before a word that begins with a - Before a person or thing for the first - Before a word that starts with a silent
vowel sound that makes a ‘you’ time in a paragraph h;
sound;
an hour an honest an heir
a European a user a unit an honour
a useful gadget
- When counting or measuring things -
It costs RM40.00 a kilo.
… 110 kilometres an hour.
.. a quarter past ten.

2. Do not use ‘a’ or ‘an’ when…

- before a plural noun; a crocodiles a women a teeth

an emails an oxen an envelopes

- Before uncountable nouns, sugar, advice, milk, advice, information, ice, news.

The Definite Article ‘the’


Use ‘the’ .. Do not use ‘the’…
- Before the name of a thing or things that can be counted; - With plural nouns, if you are talking about the whole
…. group or class of something.
The crocodiles are reptiles. (x)
Crocodiles are reptiles (√)
- Before the uncountable nouns;

X √
a water the water
a money the money
an information the equipment
- Before a word of specific thing, feeling, or person that you
are talking about

- When you refer to something for the second time in a


paragraph.

- With words that represent group or a whole class of


people, animal or things.

- Before words of things, people, or animal that there is only


one of its kind.

- Before ordinals

- Before the name of musical instruments

- Before the names of some countries; United States of


America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates
- Before the name of mountain ranges, rivers, oceans, and
group of islands.

- Before the names of buildings and places consisting of


adjective + noun or noun + of + noun

- Before superlatives