Articles are beneficial in our everyday life. We need to use articles when we define a noun specifically and unspecifically. For example: ‘I have bought a shirt available in the new market.’ Note: In the sentence, we find the article ‘a’ defines ‘shirt’ and ‘the’ define ‘new market.’ Let’s see the definition and types of articles.
Types of Articles
Articles are words that modify nouns. In short, ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’ are called articles in English. There are two types of articles. They are:
- Indefinite articles
- Definite articles
1. Indefinite Articles
The article that defines a noun as non-specific is called the indefinite article. In short, ‘a’ and ‘an’ is called indefinite article. For example:
- I have to buy a new bicycle.
- She looks like a queen.
- They are gathering in an unknown place.
- It is a beautiful cat.
- He is an angry person, for no doubt.
Note: Every article in these sentences define nouns as unspecific.
Usage of ‘a’ and ‘an’
Generally, the article ‘a’ is placed before a consonant sound, and the ‘an’ is placed before a vowel (a,e, i,o,u) sound. For example, a boy, a pen, a book, an umbrella, an apple, etc. The primary usage of ‘a’ and ‘an’ are given below:
1. The article ‘a’ or ‘an’ is placed when it addresses someone or something (single countable noun) for the first time. For example:
- A beautiful woman is walking on the road.
- A strange man begs for some food.
- I have seen an elephant in the street.
- He chooses an umbrella for me.
- The girl was drinking a cup of tea.
2. The article ‘a’ or ‘an’ is placed when it explains profession, class, trade, etc. For example:
- My father runs a business.
- He belongs to an aristocratic family.
- She has been working as a software engineer for five years.
- Mr. Joseph is a good teacher.
- Mrs. Jerin is running a coffee shop.
3. The article ‘a’ or ‘an’ is placed before ‘dozen,’ ‘hundred,’ ‘thousand,’ ‘million,’ etc. For example:
- A dozen people attend the meeting.
- A hundred workers are needed to finish the work.
- A thousand dollars were paid to the workers.
- A million people have been infected with the coronavirus.
4. The article ‘a’ or ‘an’ is placed in exclamatory sentences that start with ‘what.’ For example:
- What a beautiful girl she is!
- What an incredible moment for us!
- What a lovely bird!
- What a whole idea!
5. The article ‘a’ is placed before ‘few,’ lof of,’ ‘little,’ ‘great deal,’ etc. For Example:
- A few minutes ago I missed a train.
- He needs a lot of money to complete his project.
- She has a little brother who has brown hair.
- It’s a great deal for you to have her in the office.
‘The’ is considered a definite article. The definite article usually defines a noun as something specific. For example:
- The cat is watching me.
- I have met the person.
- He knows what the real thing is.
- The tiger is confined in the trap.
- She wants the pink doll to play with it.
The Basic Usage of ‘the’
1. The article ‘the’ is placed in order to indicate a particular person or thing. For example:
- The person looks very handsome.
- The boy is drawing a picture.
- The book is covered every particular topic.
- The man is running for physical exercise.
- The woman cooks good food.
2. The article ‘the’ is placed before a noun that has been mentioned for the second time. For example:
- I see a tea garden. The garden looks fantastic.
- Mr. Poline buys a pant. The pant trends nowadays.
- She made a new recipe. The recipe becomes more famous.
3. The article ‘the’ is placed before a singular noun that denotes a whole class. For example:
- The lion is the king of all animals.
- The dog is a kind animal.
- The rose is a beautiful flower.
4. The article ‘the’ is placed before an uncountable noun that denotes specific. For example:
- The gold will be perfect for making a ring.
- The water in the glass looks suspicious.
5. The article ‘the’ is placed before the name of a thing that exists only once. For example:
- The sun shines brightly.
- The moon is looking marvelous.
- The earth is the best place for livelihood.
6. The article ‘the’ is placed before a noun that describes a nation or race. For example:
- My brother lives in the USA.
- The English people are more gentlemen.
- W.B. Yeats is the Irish poet.
- Her sister has married in the United Kingdom.
7. The article ‘the’ is placed before an ordinary number. For example:
- The twentieth of August is my birthday.
- He is the first boy in the class.
- The 14th of February is a special day for many people.
8. The article ‘the’ is placed before an adjective to describe a whole class of people. For example:
- The aristocratic people lead happy life.
- The poor people need help to survive in the world.
- The honest people are always happy.
9. The article ‘the’ is placed before the superlative degree. For example:
- Mr. Kamal is the most outstanding businessman.
- She is the most beautiful girl in her class.
- This is one of the darkest moments for him.
10. Generally, The article ‘the’ is not placed before proper nouns, but in some exceptions, it is placed. The following exceptions are given in below:
- Names of holy scriptures: The Quran, the Bible, The Bedah, etc.
- Names of Islands: Tibet, The West Indies, The Palawan, etc.
- Names of Oceans: The Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, etc.
- Names of seas: The Mediterranean, the Arabian, etc.
- Names of rivers: The Padma, the Nile, the Amazon, etc.
- Names of sculpture: The statue of liberty, the Pyramid, etc.
- Names of famous creations: The Taj Mahal, the great wall of China, etc.
- Names of ships: The Titanic, the Disney Dream, the Queen Mary 2, etc.
- Names of newspapers: The Telegraph, the Economics Times, etc.
- Names of mountains range: The Himalayas, the Alaksa, etc.
The Basic Usage of ‘no articles’
There are many sentences or phrases where the articles are not usually used. The primary usage of no ‘articles’ is given below:
1. Articles are not used before proper nouns. For example:
- Mr. Marlin is a famous singer.
- New York is the city most affected by the coronavirus.
- Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh.
Note: On articles are used before proper nouns in the above sentences.
2. Articles are not used before material nouns. For example:
- She wants gold to make a ring.
- Iron is a valuable metal.
- Coal is used to produce electricity.
Note: In some cases, the article ‘the’ is used before a material noun when it is specifically referred.
3. Articles are not used before abstract nouns. For example:
- Kindness is a good character trait of human beings.
- Honesty is a great virtue.
- My examination is knocking at the door.
Note: In some cases, the article ‘the’ is used before an abstract noun to describe something specific.
Read more: Articles A, An, and The
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.