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• Used before Indefinite, singular/countable nouns
• Used before vowels (a,e,i,o,u)

• E.g.: I ate an apple.

• I will be back in an hour. (Because “h” is silent)
• This is a university. (Because “u” gives the sound
of ‘Yew’, and not the vowel ‘u’)
• She has a euro. (Becoz “eu” gives sound of ‘yew’)
• Used before Indefinite, singular/countable nouns
• Used before consonants, when not particular.

• E.g.: I need a phone. (any phone, nothing

• I bought a dress. (not a particular dress)
• I saw a star. (any star in the sky, not a particular
one, nothing clear that which star I saw)
• Used before definite nouns
• The noun can be singular/ plural or

• E.g.: I need the phone. (A particular phone, we most

probably have been talking abt this phone before)
• I bought the dress. (A particular dress that we may
have seen at the mall yesterday)
• I saw the Northpole star. (A definite/particular star)
• “THE” is used with unique nouns, such as:
• Symbols, decades (the 1990s), currencies (the dollar), oceans
(The Pacific ocean), rivers (The Nile), Seas (The Mediterranean
sea), mountains (the mountains), organizations (The World
Health Organization), unique people (The prime minister),
‘united’ nature of countries (The United States of America or
The United Kingdom)
• Ranking ordering (The first, The second, The last)
• Superlatives (The longest, The best, The easiest)
• Adjectives as a noun (The poor, The sick, The injured, The
unemployed, The rich, The refugees)
No Articles
• Most proper nouns do not use an article such as-
– Continents, Countries, States, Cities, Towns
– Days, Months
– Languages, Sciences (biology, physics)
– Meal times (breakfast, dinner, lunch)
• Material nouns- gold, iron, metal, wood (unless being used as an adjective- a golden ring)
• Abstract nouns- happiness, love, honesty
• Common nouns as a class-
– Trees give us oxygen.
– Apples are red.
– Camels are useful animals.
• Common nouns in pairs- Both husband and wife had serious injuries.
• Before numbers, possessive pronouns, demonstrative-
- I have two apples. - She is my sister. - This is a table.
- Uncountable nouns when used in the most general sense-
– I don’t want water in my tea. - Blood is thicker that water.