Articles "a" & "an"

By Learn English - Saturday, 25 May 2013 No Comments

There are two kinds of articles,

Indefinite articles"a" or "an"
Definite Articles "the"

Articles are always used before the nouns and give some information about the noun. Articles play very important part in writing or speaking the English accurately.

We usually use Article "a" or "an"
  •  when the words begins with vowel- a, e, I, o, u
  •  with countable noun
  •  first time when we say or write something about  the noun- like

  • Can I borrow a pencil, please ?
  • I saw a cat in the garden?
  • Does she have an mp 3 player?
  • I saw an Elephant.

 Indefinite Articles: "a" and "an"
 used before the noun that we are going to introduce in our sentence Article "a" or "an" are signal that the noun modified is indefinite, referring to any member of a group.

•    We need a tree for Christmas.
This refers to any tree. We don't know which tree because we haven't found the tree yet.
•    "When I was on the way, I saw an elephant!" Here, we're saying about a single, non-specific thing, in this case an elephant. There are probably several elephants at the zoo, but we are talking  about the only one here.

Some common rules to use the articles "a" or "an"

with singular countable noun. like
  • I have a car.
  • She is a nice girl.
  • I saw an angel.
  • Honesty is a best policy.
 With Singular countable noun, when it shows a class or a group.
  • a cow has horns.
  • An eagle flies very high.
  • A dog barks.
  • A rose smells very sweet.
With compliment of noun.
  • He is a doctor.
  • She wants to become a dancer.
  • He is an expert in English language.
 with adjective or adverbs.
  • My friend is a beautiful girl.
  • He is an honest man.
  • This is an old rare epic.
 with more than one noun
if there is a more than one noun in our sentence then use article with each noun. like
  • She gave me red n white shirt.
  • She gave me a red and a white shirt. 

Some Noticeable rules for using Articles 

 Indefinite articles
There is a two forms of indefinite articles, "a/an" use of these articles is depend on the spelling and pronunciation of noun.

Articles  “a" is used with the word that begin with consonant-- like
a boy, a table, a house, a book.

Articles “ a” is also  used with the words that start with vowel ,but  the sound and pronunciation comes  like consonant .like as.....a universal, a usual sight , university, utensil, uniform, unit, united, untrained
These above words sound like consonant but start with vowel.

Articles  "an" starts with vowel
article “ an” is also used with the words that start with mute  “h” like
heir, honorarium, honest, honestly, honor, hourly, hour, heiress

Some abbreviations also come with article  “an” like
M.A, M.P., M.L.A., H.M.T ,.F.I.R,
Note- With full forms these abbreviations always come with article "a".

Click here for the Article Exercise  

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