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Definite article

The definite article ‘the’  is the same for singular and plural as well as for masculine and feminine. e.g. the boy, the girl, the children.

 

The definite article 'the' is used:

 

1. To refer to something mentioned before.

  • An old man injured a kid.
  • The old man was jailed and the kid was taken to hospital.

 

2. When the speaker and listener know what is being talked about, even if it has not been mentioned before.

  • Where's the meeting room?'
  • It's on the fourth floor.'

 

3. In sentences or clauses where we define or identify a particular person or object:

  • The man who wrote this book won the Nobel prize.
  • 'Which car is yours?' 'The green one.
  • My sister is the girl in blue.'

 

4. To refer to objects that are unique:

  • The sun, the earth, the moon, the world 

 

5. Before superlatives and ordinal numbers

  • The highest building, the first page, the last chapter.

 

6. With adjectives, to refer to a whole class or group of people:

  • The German, the English, the old, the young 

 

7. With names of geographical areas, oceans, seas and rivers:

  • The Sahara, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Nile,

 

8. with decades, or groups of years:

  • She died in the nineties

 

Indefinite article

The indefinite article ‘a/an’ is used:

 

1. Before a singular countable noun to indicate one: 

  •   I’ve got a cat
  • There is a policeman at the door

 

2. Before a singular countable noun which is used as an example a class of things:

  • A motorbike must be insured = All motorbikes / Any motor bike must be insured
  • A kid needs love = All kids need/ Any kid needs love

 

3. With a noun complement. This includes names of professions:

  • She is a student
  • He is a lawyer

 

4. In expressions of cost, speed, or frequency:

  • Fifty pence a kilo
  • Four times a day
  • Two hundred kilometers an hour

 

5. In certain numerical expressions:

  • A hundred; a thousand; a couple; a dozen

 

Ø article

Ø article is used:

1. With abstract nouns (life, beauty, love, etc.), languages, and academic subjects (history, Spanish, etc):

  • Life isn’t always easy.
  • Spanish isn’t a difficult language to learn

 

2. With materials (wine, sugar, bread, milk, etc.) when they are used in a general sense:

  • Glass is a difficult material to cut.
  • Gold is very expensive at the moment

 

3. Before countries and towns:

  • They live in Manchester
  • She is traveling to France tomorrow

 

4. Before school, home, work, bed, and hospital in certain expressions:

  • They went to school
  • She's at home

 

 

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