Linguistic Terms

Articles types and usage in English with detail

Use Articles in English

Articles

Articles are grammatical elements that modify the noun. There are two types of articles in English: the definite (defined or determined) and the indefinite (indefinite or indeterminate). Articles types and usage in English with detail

Articles types and usage in English with detail

Indefinite Article

The indefinite article, as the name implies, does not define nouns. That is, it does not refer to a specific object.

  • It is used when the object is not specific.
    Example:   There is an apple on the table.
    (There is an apple on the table.)
  • It has no gender, so it is neutral.
    A computer A chair A bottle
  • It is used only for the singular form of nouns.
    A towel A table A door
  • Its usual form is an unless a vowel precedes it since in that case, it would be an.
  • The exception to this rule occurs with the vowel u. If  has a consonant sound, that is [ j ] as the <y> of “I”, the form a must be usedThis is much clearer in the following examples:
    a university a unicorn a utopia
  • If instead, the sound of is a vowel, as in [ ʌ ], the article an should be used let’s see:
    an uncle,  an update, an ulcer

 Definite Article or Defined Article

The definite article is the one that determines the noun.

  • It has no gender.
    The flower     the sofa            the water
  • It can be used to refer to both the singular and plural form of nouns.
    The banana the bananas
  • It is used when something is unique in its kind or nature.
    The sunsets in the West
     (there is only one sun and only one west ). The sky is blue  (there is only one sky).

Cases in which articles are not used

  • The article is not used in many cases for non-accounting nouns. Let’s look at the case of hour and time: While hour  (hour) can be counted, the same does not happen with time  (time).

Correct: We have been waiting for an hour.

Incorrect: We have been waiting for a time.

In this case, it would be said: We have been waiting for some time.

  • In cases where the meaning may change when using a non-countable noun.

There’s chocolate from Switzerland.

There’s chocolate from Switzerland.

In the second case, unlike the first, there are several types of chocolate, and Switzerland is one of them.

  • Articles for abstract ideas are not used:

Correct: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Incorrect: The beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Articles are not used to refer to proper nouns (names of people, countries, cities, etc.).

Peru is a South American country.

Rome is the capital city of Italy.

  • The only exceptions are the names of countries that include a common noun (Kingdom, State, Republic …). Among them are the United Kingdomthe United States, or the Czech Republic. You must also use an article from the Netherlands.

Examples of definite and indefinite articles and usages

  • Defined: The door is open. (The door is open)
  • Indefinite: It’s an open door. (It’s an open door.)

Articles types and usage in English with detail

  • Defined: Did he buy the computer he wanted? (Did you buy the computer you wanted?
  • Undefined: Did I buy a computer? (Did you buy a computer?)
  • Defined: I need all the apples. (I need all the apples.)
  • Indefinite: I need a tomato and an apple. (I need a tomato and an apple.)
  • Defined: I met Luke and Sarah, the young couple who live across the street. (I met Luke and Sara, the young couple across the street.)
  • Indefinite: Luke is a young man and Sarah is a young woman. (Luke is a young man and Sara is a young woman.)

Articles types and usage in English with detail

  • Defined: When I grow up I want to be the best actress in the world. (When I grow up I want to be the best actress in the world.)
  • Indefinite: When I grow up I want to be an actress. (When I grow up I want to be an actress.)
  • Defined: He’s the man I talked to you about. (He’s the man I told you about.)
  • Indefinite: He’s an honest man. (He is an honest man.)
  • Defined: You can’t talk like that to the teacher. (You can’t talk to the teacher like that.)
  • Indefinite: You can’t talk like that to a woman. (You can’t talk to a woman like that.)

Articles types and usage in English with detail

  • Defined: The girl walks home. (The girl walks home.)
  • Indefinite: A girl walks home. (A girl walks home.)
  • Defined: Are you looking for the blue pencil? I’ve got it. (Are you looking for the blue pencil? I have it.)
  • Indefinite: I have a blue pencil. (I have a blue pencil.)

Articles types and usage in English with detail

  • Defined: I have spiled the glass of orange juice. (He spilled the glass of orange juice.)
  • Indefinite: I have an glass of orange juice. (I have a glass of orange juice.)
  • Defined: – I want the green apple. (I want the green apple.)
  • Indefinite: – I have a green apple and a red apple, which one do you want? (I have a green apple and a red apple, which one do you want?
  • Defined: I will be out for the day. (I’ll be out during the day.)
  • Indefinite: I will be home in an hour. (I’ll be home in an hour.)
  • Defined: I still have the umbrella I bought in Paris. (I still have the umbrella I bought in Paris.)
  • Indefinite: Julia has a blue umbrella. (Julia has a blue umbrella.)

Articles types and usage in English with detail

  • Defined: I will have the special hamburger, please. (I’ll bring the special burger, please.)
  • Indefinite: I will have a hamburger for lunch. (I’m going to have a hamburger for lunch.)
  • Defined: I almost broke the glass of water. (I almost broke the glass of water.)
  • Indefinite: Can I have a glass of water, please? (Could you give me a glass of water, please?
  • Defined: The famous water fountain is in this park. (The famous water fountain is in this park.)
  • Undefined: There’s a water fountain in this park. (There is a water fountain in this park.)
  • Defined: I want the perfect dress. (I want the perfect dress.)
  • Indefinite: I just want an elegant dress. (I just want a fancy dress.)
  • Defined: Where is the main street? (Where is the main street?)
  • Undefined: Where can I find a hospital? (Where can I find a hospital?)
  • Defined: Hurry up or you’ll miss the plane. (Hurry or you’ll miss the plane.)
  • Indefinite: He knows how to fly an airplane. (Can fly an airplane.)
  • Defined: The party was a success. (The party was a success.)
  • Indefinite: Let’s have a party. (Let’s have a party.)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button