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.

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

The following is a list of groups of nouns that normally do not require an article:

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

Games and Sport

We usually do not need to use articles before the names of sports and games. Here are some 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

We usually do not use articles with first names or last names of people. For example:

✓ I saw Amanda last night.

✗ I saw an Amanda last night.

Days of the Week and Months

With the name of days and months, we do not need to 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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