Articles are special adjectives. There are three types of articles: indefinite, definite, and zero article.
- Indefinite articles A / AN
- Definite article THE
- Zero article
1. INDEFINITE ARTICLES "A / AN"
Indefinitie articles are used with singular countable nouns only.
- when noun is unknown to the speaker
- when the noun is introduced for the first time
an - use before nouns beginning with a vowel (a, e, i o, u) or vowel sound
an apple, an elephant, an issue, an hour
a - use before nouns beginning with a consonant (b, c, d, f...z)
a book, a cup, a dog, a woman
2. DEFINITE ARTICLE "THE"
Definite articles are used with singular and plural nouns and uncountable nouns.
1. when the noun is known to the speaker
2. when the noun is "the" only one"
There are two types of pronounciation
the car, the dog, the sea
the aeroplane, the elephant, the ocean
I bought a bike today!
You have never talked about this bike with the listener before (no shared knowladge between the speaker and the listener).
I bought the bike today!
The speaker and the listener know about this bike and have previously discussed it (shared knowladge)
I need an English grammar book.
This is new information to the listener. They have never discussed that grammar book before (no shared knowledge).
I bought the Engish grammar book.
The speaker and the listener have already talked about the book or already know this grammar book (shared knowledge)
3. ZERO ARTICLE
Here are some simple rules when to use an article.
1. when talking plural and uncountable nouns or when talking about things in general
I don't like snakes.
Winters are cold.
2. in front of names of countries, towns, streets, languages and single mountains
I'm from China.
She speaks French.
He climbed Mount Everest.
3. noun + prepositions
I live at home with my parents.
We came here by car.
A singular countable noun must always have:
1. an article:
a book, the car
2. a demonstrative pronoun:
this book, that car
3. a possessive pronoun:
my book, our car