Zero Article for intermediate learners

Some nouns and noun phrases are used with no articles preceding them. In this article, we will learn about them.

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What Is Zero Article in English?

What Is Zero Article?

Zero article refers to a situation when we do not use 'a, an, the' (an article) before a noun or noun phrase.

Why Do We Use Zero Article?

Sometimes, we do not use any articles because it is not necessary to use them. For Example:

I play football every day.

I called him at midnight.

When Do We Use Zero Article

With the following nouns, we usually do not use any articles:

  • Games and sport
  • Meals
  • Languages
  • Names
  • Days of the week, months
  • Abstract nouns

Games and Sport

Before the names of sports and games, we usually do not use articles. Here are examples:

✓ He plays tennis.

✗ He plays the tennis.

Meals

Before the names of the meals we eat throughout the day, we do not use articles. Here are examples:

✓ I had dinner at nine.

✗ I had the dinner at nine.

Languages

Before the names of languages, we cannot use articles. Here are examples:

✓ He speaks French.

✗ He speaks the French.

Names

With the last names or first names, we do not usually use articles. For example:

✓ I saw Amanda last night.

✗ I saw an Amanda last night.

Days of the Week, Months

With the name of days and months, we do not use articles. For example:

✓ He was born in July.

✗ He was born in the July.

Abstract Nouns

With abstract nouns, we do not use articles. Check out the examples:

✓ We all look for happiness.

✗ We all look for a happiness.

Review

Sometimes there is no need to use any articles so we use zero article. Here are the most common occasions in which we do not use articles.

  • Games and sport
  • Meals
  • Languages
  • Names
  • Days, months
  • Abstract nouns

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