Definite and Indefinite Articles | A, An, The with example 2023

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Definition: A an,and the, these three adjectives are called Article. Articles are always used before noun. (Definite and Indefinite Articles)

Read: Past Tense important rule & uses

  • Active and Passive voice

Types of Airticle:

There are two types of articles Definite and Indefinite Articles. These are in the following

  1. Definite Article: ‘The‘ is a definite Airticle. In the sentence ‘This is the man,whom I saw yesterday‘  in this sentence’The is a definite Article, here, the man is a specific one, says by pointing out.

  1. Indefinite Article: a , an are called Indefinite Article.These Articles indicates the things in a general way (not speciific way). For example, A man, A cow, An orange, An umbrella etc. These are not definite,it can be any man, any cow, any orange ,any umbrella , that is why they take indefinite Article.

Before using the definite Article ‘The‘ you should remember the following points, which will help to use ‘The‘ in an appropriate way – 

 1.While speaking of a particular person or things, in that case ‘The‘ is used. For example-

  • I dislike the fellow, who came here yesterday.
  • This is the man, who knows English.

 2. Do not use ‘The‘ before the name of  substances if they are used as a general sense or refers as a whole. 

  •  Gold is a precious metal. ( here we can not use The Gold’ because gold refers in a general sense not a particular type of gold.)
  • Lead is very heavy. ( not the lead)

Exceptions. (If the reference is to a particular kind or specimen of the substance, then The article must be used)

  • The Gold mined here is of poor quality
  • Theives stole the lead from the roof.

Here the is used because gold and lead refers to a specific one that are talking about.

3. Do not use ‘the‘ before the names of meals if they refer to the meals generaly, as a part of the daily routine.

  • Breakfast is at eight o’ clock. (not the breakfast)
  • When do you have dinner? ( not the dinner)

4.But the must be used, when the meal is a particular one, like meal of a social function.

  •  The dinner will be held at the grand hotel.

 But when the name of the meal refers to the food rather then the occassion.In that, case we should use The. For example: 

  • We enjoyed the breakfast she gave us.
  • The dinner was not properly cooked.

5.Do not use ‘The‘ before the plural nouns when they are used in a general or a universal sense.For example:

  • Mangoes are grown in many different countries.( not the mangoes)
  • Books are essential to a students. ( not the books )

But if the reference is to a particular ones, then The must be used.

  • The apples on our tree are not yet ripe.
  • The books you gave me will be most usefull.

6. Do not use The before the names of games.

For example

  • I play football. ( not the football )
  • Chess is a game which requires great skills and patience. ( NOT THE CHESS )

In the same, we do not use The before cricket,rugby, hockey, polo, baseball, ludo, droughts,

7. Do not use the before the name of countries unless the name suggests that the country is made up of smaller units or constituent parts. For example –

  • Italy, China, France and Ghana are all republics.( NOT THE ITALY, THE CHINA, THE FRANCE, THE GHANA)
  • But, The United States is one of the great world powers.Similarly, the following names of the countries must have THE article: the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, the U.S.S.R., the U.S.A., the Netherlands.)

8. Put The article before nouns which name refers to the community or nationality, but not before the names of their languages. For example

  • The French live in France and The Portugese in Portugal.( not French live in France and Portugese in Portugal)
  • The Russians sent up the first earth satellite. (not Russians sent uo…)

Similarly,the English, the Chinese, the Germans, the Indians, the Italians, etc. refers as a community not the language.

  • The inhabitants of France speak French. ( not the French, because French refers as a language)
  • Spanish is spoken in Spain. ( not the Spain)

9. Put The before the names of mountain ranges, or ranges of hills.

for example

The Alps, the Himalayas, the Pyrenees, the Pennines, the Cotswolds. But  The is not use before the names of single mountains or hills, i.e. 

Everest, Mont Blanc, Snowdon ( not the Everest, the Snowdon)

10. Use The before the names of Rivers, Canals, seas, oceans, Valleys, Deserts, and Forests.

  • London is  on the Thames. ( NOT ON THAMES)
  • Many ships use the Kiel Canal. (NOT USE KIEL CANAL)

Similarly: the North Sea, the Pacific, the Batlic, the Ganges, the Sahara, the Black Forest the Ardennes)

But when the name of a river forms part of the name of a town that stands on it, then The Article is not used.

Stratford-upon Avon, Newcastle uopn Tyne, Kingston on Thanes, Burton on Trent, etc.

11. Do not put The article  before ‘ Nature’ when it means environment- For example 

  • If you interfere with nature you will suffer for it.

12. No article is use before the name of  ‘season’.

  • In spring we like to clean the house. ( in the spring )
  • She is planning to visit her parents in winter. ( not the winter).etc.

1. A and An is used before a singular noun, if the sound of a noun pronounced with a vowel sound then ‘an’ article is used. An apple, an umbrella, an ear, etc.

    Use ‘Article ‘a’ when first letter of a noun pronounced with a consonent sound.

For examplea cow, a tree,a boy,etc.

Most of the learners generally get confuse whether  a or an should be use before the following words:

Some of the important words to be remember-

Thus,  from the above disscussion we can learn the Definite and indefinite articles examples (a, an,the) in english grammar) how tp use the in an appropriate way.

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