Thursday, November 29, 2018

Types of Article -definite and indefinite


definite article

1. The Indefinite Article – ‘a/an’ :

(a) the shape ‘a’ is employed before a word starting 

with a consonant, 

or a vowel with a consonant sound.

a man, a European, a university,  a hat,  a one-way, a  street,  a ewe

(b) the shape ‘an’ is employed before words starting with a vowel 

(a, e, I, o, u) or words starting with a mute ‘h’,

 or before individual letters spoken with a vowel :

  1. an  apple, 
  2. an island,
  3. an M.P., 
  4. a yield, 
  5. an egg,
  6. an hour,
  7. an x, 
  8. an uncle, 
  9. an MBA

2. Use of ‘a / an’:

(a)  a/an is used before a singular noun which is countable when it is 
 mentioned for the first time and  represents no particular person or thing :

I need a pen. They live in a bungalow.

(b)  a/an is used before a singular countable noun which is used as an 

 example of a class of things :

A child needs love. (all children any child)

A car must be maintained. (all cars, any car)

(c)  a/an is used in certain expressions of quantity with certain numbers 

and in expressions of price :

a lot of             a couple      Rs. 10 a kilo

a great many    a dozen       50 ps a dozen

a great deal of  a hundred     four times a day

a thousand       60 km an hour

Before the half, when half follows a whole number.

Example :

1 ½ kilo = one and a half kilos or a kilo and a half, but 1/2 kg = half a kilo

 (not ‘a’ before half).

However a half-holiday, a half portion,  

a half share is possible.

(d)  In exclamations before singular, countable nouns:

What a pretty girl! (But – What pretty girls !)

That’s a lie! such a long queue!

3. The Definite Article – ‘the’:

(a)  The definite article is used, when the object or group of objects is
 unique or considered to be unique :

the Earth     the equator     the moon

the Sun       the stars        the yellow trees

(b)  The definite article is used to talk about people and things already mentioned: she has two children – a girl and a boy. The boy is fourteen,
 the girl is eight

(c) The definite article is used before a noun made definite by the addition 

 of a phrase or a clause :

the girl with the gun

the place where I met her

the man with the gun 

the paper that I write on

(d)  The definite article is used before a noun which by reason of locality 

can represent only one particular thing :

My wife was in the kitchen (the kitchen of this home)

Please pass the salt. (the salt on the table)

The Tapestry Chamber.

(e)  the is used before certain proper names of seas, rivers, groups of 

 islands, chains of mountains, plural names of countries, deserts, regions, 
 famous buildings, classics, newspapers and abbreviations :

the Atlanta         the Godavari

the Hague          the South Pole

the North Pole    the Sudan  

the Sahara         the USSR 

the USA            the PLO   

the Bible           the Times of India   

the UNO           the Cantervilles 

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