Friday, October 16, 2020

 Indefinite and Definite Articles

The definite article (the) is used before a noun to indicate that the identity of the noun is known to the reader. The indefinite article (a, an) is used before a noun that is general or when its identity is not known. There are certain situations in which a noun takes no article.

Indefinite and Definite Articles
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The words a, an, and the are special adjectives called articles.

Indefinite Articles—a, an

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an—used before singular count nouns beginning with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) or vowel sound:

an apple, an elephant, an issue, an orange

a—used before singular count nouns beginning with consonants (other than a, e, i, o, u):

a stamp, a desk, a TV, a cup, a book

Definite Article—the

Can be used before singular and plural, count and non-count nouns

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1. Indefinite Article (a, an)

Used before singular nouns that are unspecified:

  • a pencil
  • an orange

Used before number collectives and some numbers:

  • a dozen
  • a gallon

Used before a singular noun followed by a restrictive modifier:

  • a girl who was wearing a yellow hat

Used with nouns to form adverbial phrases of quantity, amount, or degree:

  • I felt a bit depressed.

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2. Definite Article (the)

Used to indicate a noun that is definite or has been previously specified in the context:

  • Please close the door.
  • I like the clothes you gave me.

Used to indicate a noun that is unique:

  • Praise the Lord!
  • The Columbia River is near here.

Used to designate a natural phenomenon:

  • The nights get shorter in the summer.
  • The wind is blowing so hard.

Used to refer to a time period:

  • I was very na├»ve in the past.
  • This song was very popular in the 1980s.

Used to indicate all the members of a family:

  • I invited the Bakers for dinner.
  • This medicine was invented by the Smiths.

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