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Articles and Determiners

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1 Articles and Determiners
María Robles Rueda Antea Cabanellas Arroyaga

2 There are many different rules about the use of articles and determiners in English.

3 Definite articles Especific uses related to groups. Uses on objects.
Emphatic use. Most and the most. Importance of context.

4 Especific uses related to groups
Classes: This is one way to refer to classes, and it is perhaps more formal than using a plural. The tiger is threatened with extinction.

5 National groups: Group as a whole:
The French eat in restaurants more than the English. Single examples are not formed in the same way: A Frenchman/ woman, an Englishman/woman.

6 If they are clearly plural:
Other groups: If they are clearly plural: The social Democrats, the Rolling Stones

7 Geographical names: The following use the: This does not apply to:
Rivers: the Thames. Mountain ranges: the Alps. Oceans: the Mediterranean. Unique features: the Channel, the Artic. Compass point/ areas: The East, the Middle East. Countries (Collective or plural): the United Kingdom, the Netherlands. This does not apply to: Mountain peaks: Everest (but The Matterhorn) Lakes: Lake Genova. Continents: Asia. Countries: France, Spain.

8 Post- modification, especially with… of… place a role in place names.
Leeds University/ the University of Leeds. If the first part of a place-name is another name, the normal rules about zero article are applied. The same applies in geographical names Bronw’s restaurant Canvey Island.

9 Uses on objects Unique objects:
The moon, the sun. Note that there are other suns and moons in the universe. This planet has a small moon.

10 This tend to be ‘unique’.
Titles: This tend to be ‘unique’. The director of studies. If the title is post-modified (have a description coming after the noun), the is more likely, but not essential. Compare: She became President in 2008. She became (the) president of the country in 2008.

11 The may be part of the title, and so is capitalized.
Other titles: The may be part of the title, and so is capitalized. Newspapers: The Independent, The Sunday Times

12 Musical instruments: Jane plays the flute (in general). The guitar is my favourite instrument (in general). It is, of course, still possible to use an article when we refer to an object. There was a small brown flute in the window of the shop.

13 Emphatic use This is heavily stressed and emphasizes the following noun. This hotel is the place to stay.

14 Most and the most Most hotels in England are very expensive. (making a generalization) This is the most expensive hotel in town. (talking about a specific hotel)

15 Importance of context The definite article refers to already mentioned items, and so its use depends on context. The Smiths had a son and a daughter. The son was in the Army and the daughter was training to be a doctor. On the Saturday, there was a terrible storm. Here, the Saturday refers to a day in an area of time already mentioned. On the Saturday of that week…

16 Indefinite articles

17 Examples A boy An apple A car
A / AN Use 'a' with nouns starting with a consonant (letters that are not vowels), 'an' with nouns starting with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u) NOTE: An before an h mute - an hour, an honour. A before u and eu when they sound like 'you': a european, a university, a unit

18 Uses to refer to something for the first time
An elephant and a mouse fell in love. Would you like a drink? I've finally got a good job.

19 to refer to a particular member of a group or class
with names of jobs John is a doctor. Mary is training to be an engineer. with nationalities and religions John is an Englishman. Kate is a Catholic. with musical instruments Sherlock Holmes was playing a violin when the visitor arrived. (BUT to describe the activity we say "He plays the violin.") with names of days I was born on a Thursday

20 Some other uses to refer to a kind of, or example of something
the mouse had a tiny nose the elephant had a long trunk it was a very strange car with singular nouns, after the words 'what' and 'such' What a shame! She's such a beautiful girl.

21 meaning 'one', referring to a single object or person
I'd like an orange and two lemons please. The burglar took a diamond necklace and a valuable painting. Notice also that we usually say a hundred, a thousand, a million. NOTE: that we use 'one' to add emphasis or to contrast with other numbers: I don't know one person who likes eating elephant meat. We've got six computers but only one printer.

22 Cases in which there is no need of the article

23 Grammar uses After the 's possessive case: With uncountable nouns:
His brother's car. Peter's house. With uncountable nouns: Rice is the main food in Asia. Milk is often added to tea in England. War is destructive.

24 Common uses with the names of languages
French is spoken in Tahiti. English uses many words of Latin origin. Indonesian is a relatively new language. with names of countries (if singular) Germany is an important economic power. He's just returned from Zimbabwe. (But: I'm visiting the United States next week.)

25 with people's names (if singular)
with the names of meals. Lunch is at midday. Dinner is in the evening. Breakfast is the first meal of the day. with people's names (if singular) John's coming to the party. George King is my uncle. (But: we're having lunch with the Morgans tomorrow.)

26 with titles and names: with professions:
Prince Charles is Queen Elizabeth's son. President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Dr. Watson was Sherlock Holmes' friend. (But: the Queen of England, the Pope.) with professions: Engineering is a useful career. He'll probably go into medicine.

27 with names of shops: with years: I'll get the card at Smith's.
Can you go to Boots for me? with years: 1948 was a wonderful year. Do you remember 1995?

28 with the names of individual mountains, lakes and islands:
Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in Alaska. She lives near Lake Windermere. Have you visited Long Island? with most names of towns, streets, stations and airports: Victoria Station is in the centre of London. Can you direct me to Bond Street? They're flying from Heathrow.

29 Fixed expressions by car by train by air on foot on holiday on air (in broadcasting) at school at work at University in church in prison in bed

30 Determiners

31 Function Determiners are words placed in front of a noun to make it clear what the noun refers to. The word 'people' by itself is a general reference to some group of human beings. If someone says 'these people', we know which group they are talking about, and if they say 'a lot of people' we know how big the group is.

32 Classes Definite and Indefinite articles the, a, an Demonstratives this, that, these, those Possessives my, your, his, her, its, our, their Quantifiers a few, a little, much, many, a lot of, most, some, any, enough, etc. Numbers one, ten, thirty, etc. Distributives all, both, half, either, neither, each, every Difference words other, another Question words Which, what, whose Defining words which, whose The following words are pre-determiners. They go before determiners, such as articles: such and what, half, rather, quite

33 The End

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