Articles for beginners

Articles are used as modifiers for nouns. However, some nouns do not need to be modified. In this lesson, we will learn about them.

What Are Articles in English?

What Are Articles?

Articles are small words that come before a noun. They show if the noun refers to a specific or general example of something.

English Articles

In English, there are two types of articles: 'the' is called the definite article and 'a' and 'an' are called the indefinite articles.

Definite Article Indefinite Article
The A/An

Indefinite Articles

'A' and 'an' are called indefinite articles. We use them with singular nouns to refer to any nonspecific or general noun of that type.
We use 'a' before a consonant sound and use 'an' before a vowel sound (a,e,i,o,u):

a an
a boy an apple
a woman an owl
a cat an earring
a strawberry an idea
a monkey an orange

Definite Article

'The' is a definite article. We use it before a singular or plural noun to refer to a specific or particular noun that is known to both the speaker and the listener. Pay attention to the examples:

I ordered a pizza and a salad. The pizza was nice but the salad was disgusting.

That is the school that Mary went to.

Mary has a dog. The dog's name is Rover.

In the second sentence it is already clear which dog the speaker is talking about. So, the definite article is used.

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Demonstrative Determiners

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Demonstrative determiners in English are this, these, that and those. They are used to identify the person or thing that is being referred to.

Indefinite Determiners

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Indefinite determiners are determiners that express quantity or the indefinite ideas of quality. They agree in number and gender with the noun they modify.

Relative Determiners

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Relative determiners modify nouns within a relative clause. Follow the article to learn more about them.

Indefinite Articles

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The indefinite articles in English language are 'a/an'. They refer to a noun for the first time or a general noun when its identity is unknown.

Definite Article

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The definite article in English language is 'the'. It is used before a noun to show that the noun is known to the reader. Learn about this useful article!

Zero Article

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