Lesson Ten

Articles

A / An / The

Singular
Plural
a
/ an
the
the

 

Articles are used in front
of nouns.

"A" or "an" are always
singular.

"The" is singular or plural.

Some plural nouns don’t use an article.

When using articles, it’s important to also know the difference
between count and noncount
nouns
.


 

I have glasses.

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(plural – a
/an
)

teacher

Or….I
have a pair of glasses

You have a
hat
.

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(singular count noun)

sasa

But….the
second time
you describe the hat, you say:

The
hat
is blue.

He has some strawberries.

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(plural count noun)

child

The
strawberries
are in his mouth (second mention).

She has a popsicle.

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(singular count noun)

girl

The
popsicle
tastes good!

or….

Popsicles taste good.

The cat has some water.

(Water is
a non-count
noun)

a
/ an
)

catThe
water is in a bowl. The bowl is purple.

We have time to
learn English.

(time and English are
noncount nouns. Sometimes
the is
used; sometimes it isn’t.)

pic  I
+ you = we

sasa

They have a good relationship.

(relationship is
a singular count noun)

couple

All three children have popsicles.

The popsicles taste
good.

(Popsicle is
a plural count noun)

children

Click here for a video about using "a" or "an."

Click here for a video about using "the."

There are a lot of rules for articles:

1. Don’t put an article in front of the name of a place.

  • Correct: Minneapolis is a great city.
  • Not correct: The Minneapolis
    is a great city.

But it is correct to use the name of a place as an adjective:

  • The Minneapolis skyline is
    beautiful at night.
  • The Chicago River is painted green on St. Patrick’s Day.

 

2. Indefinite amounts or general
qualities don’t take an article.

  • Pennies are made of copper.
  • The copper
    in this penny is turning brown.
    (This is a specific amount.)
  • Water is good for you.
  • The water
    in this glass tastes bad.
    (This is
    a specific amount.)
  • Honesty is the best policy.

 

3. Don’t use an article with possessive nouns
or pronouns.

This is the Paul’s website.

 

4. The definite article can be used with singular or plural nouns:

  • The apples taste great. (plural)
  • The apple tastes great. (singular)
  • Apples taste great. (general category)
  • The water is clean. (noncount noun)
  • Water is necessary for life.

 

Click here for an exercise.

Are you ready for a quiz?

Here’s another quiz.