Articles A/an The Zero article
Indefinite article A/AN
Is used with singular countable nouns because it means ONE (so we are actually counting when using a/an) We cannot use singular countable nouns alone (without a/the/my etc.)!!! A – used before a word beginning with a consonant /p,b,m,n,s…/in pronunciation. Example: a chair /čéə/, a new pen, a usual day /južuəl/, a university /juni…/ AN – used before a word beginning with a vowel /a,e,i,o,u,ə/ in pronunciation. Example: an egg, an open window, an hour /auə/
Use of A/AN 1)To refer to a thing or an idea for the first time. (the first mention!) Example: There is a supermarket in Adam street. I have a brother and a sister. 2) With jobs and professions. Example: I‘m a teacher. He works as a pilot. 3) With the verbs „have“ and „be“ . Example: I have a new car. This is a book. 4) With some expressions of quantity. Example: a pair of, a little, a couple of, a few 5) In exclamations with WHAT+ a + countable noun. Example: What a lovely day! What a pity!
Definite article THE Pronunciation:
[ðә] – before words beginning with a consonant in pronunciation Example: the table, the right answer, the young /jaŋ/ [ði:] – before words beginning with a vowel in pronunciation Example: the apple, the open window, the hour /auə/ Can be used with all nouns. (but doesn‘t have to!)
Use of THE (1) 1) When both the speaker and the listener already know the thing or the idea or we know it from the context. Example: I have a new car. The car is nice and fast. You should tidy up in the living room. (= We mean OUR living-room.) 2) If there is only ONE of something. Example: the sun, the Queen, the Government, the president, the capital, the city centre, the floor (in a certain room), etc. 3) With superlative adjectives. Example: the biggest, the most expensive
Use of THE (2) 4) We refer to things in general.
Example: the weather, the sea, the human race, the future, the environment, the sky (BUT: space =space in the universe), the cinema, the theatre, the radio (BUT: television), the giraffe, the bicycle The giraffe is a very nice animal. (= Giraffes are nice animals.) 5) THE + adjective (to talk about a group of people) Example: the young, the rich, the poor, the unemployed, the homeless, the injured, the French, the Irish, the British, the Taylors, the Johnsons
Use of THE (3) 6) Before seas, rivers, hotels, pubs, theatres, cinemas, museums, newspapers, plural names, „republic, states, kingdom“ Example: the Atlantic, The Times, the Nile, the Ritz, the National Museum, the Netherlands, the Canary Islands, the Andes, the United States of America, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom 7) In expressions: the ... of ... Example: the Bank of England, the name of the girl 8) In expressions: the north/south/west/south, the beginning/middle/end, the same 9) With ordinal numbers: the first, the second, the third, the fifth
Zero article (1) 1) Before plural and uncountable nouns when talking about things in general. Example: Giraffes are nice animnals. Milk is good for you. 2) Before names, countries (except those having a general noun in the name or being in plural), towns, streets, languages, magazines, meals, airports, stations and mountains. Example: I had lunch with John. I bought Cosmopolitan at Victoria Station. I visited Bogota in Columbia.
Zero article (2) 3) In these constructions:
(At) home, in/to bed, at/to work, at/to school/university(as a pupil or student), in prison (as a prisoner), in hospital (as a patient), to church (to a religious service) By bus/plane/car/train, on foot 4) In exclamations with WHAT + uncountable noun. Example: What nice weather! What loud music!
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