Where to apply the Definite and Indefinite Articles (A, An, The), explained here with the help of examples and exercises.
INDEFINITE ARTICLES ‘A’ and ‘AN’
‘A’ and ‘An’ are called indefinite articles but where to apply them. Simply, see the following rules for the proper usage.
Countable nouns i.e. the things we can count take “a” or “an” in the singular form.
“a” is used before:
- A consonant “a child”;
- ‘u’ and ‘eu’ (pronounced as you) “a university”, a European”
- O (pronounced as wa) “a one-sided game”
Uncountable nouns i.e. the things we cannot count may not take the Indefinite Article. That is why such nouns do not have any plural form, for example, coffee.
The indefinite articles have two kinds of plurals
- The general plural. No word is used to denote this kind of plural. For example, a cow – cows are animals.
- Plural used for a small number or quantity. The word is “some”, which changes to “any” in the negative sentences and sometimes in the interrogative sentences also. “Some” is also used before uncountable nouns to convey the idea of a small number or indefinite quantity. For example, the child wants some bread to eat.
Indefinite Article Examples
- This is an easy question.
- Please speak a little louder.
- May I ask you a question.
- I’ll return in an hour.
- They will not agree on a date.
DEFINITE ARTICLE ‘the’
Definite article “the” is used in these conditions.
“The” is used to particularize or point out a noun. For example,
- The teacher you were waiting for has come.
- Where is the new bicycle?
“The” is placed before a singular noun when I stands for its complete class. For example,
The dog is more faithful than the cat. (Here the sentence means “Dogs are more faithful than cats.”)
The orange contains several vitamins.
Note: We do not place “the” before man and woman when they represent the whole class. For example,
Man makes mistakes. (It means all men and also all women make mistakes. Man stands for the whole human race. )
“The” placed before an adjective of quality like kind, rich, dishonest, hardworking, etc. gives the sense of a noun in the plural number. For example,
The kind (kind people), the rich (rich people), the dishonest (dishonest people), the hardworking (hardworking people)
The noble and the brave are our companions.
The honest is always liked.
Definite Article Examples
- Did you see the review?
- Could you please meet me at the airport?
- The lion is the kind of animals.
- The Himalayas, the Ravi, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Atlantic Ocean.
- He is the most intelligent person I have ever come across.
Definite and Indefinite Articles Exercises
Supply “a”, “an”, “some”, or “the” where necessary.
- Boys were going to _______ college.
- Honesty is _______ best policy.
- He is _______ man of ability.
- Anwar is _______ great poet.
- _______ old man was taking tea.
- _______ chowkidar employed by our neighbors belongs to _______ noble family.
- He is _______ engineer employed as _______ sub-divisional officer in Rawalpindi.
- ________ sun is hot today.
- I do deserve _______ cup of coffee at this hour.
- You should take _______ umbrella with you; it may rain.
- Smoking is _______ useless habit.
- I saw _______ old man in _______ street.
- I reached here _______ hour ago.
- _______ late Principal of our college was _______ good man.
- _______ leg of _______ chair was broken.
- The, a
- an, a
- an, the
- The, a
- the, the