Home / Grammatical Structures / a an the: How to use articles in English/ most important uses

a an the: How to use articles in English/ most important uses

How to use articles in English: a an the

a an the

What are the articles in English grammar?

There are four types of articles in English grammar. The indefinite articles ( a or an ), the definite article ( the ), and no article ( = zero article).

In this lesson, articles in English grammar (a an the), you’ll learn the uses of definite and indefinite articles as well as the articles grammar rules. Besides, you will learn when to use no article ( zero article ).

A. When to use a or an (a vs an)

  • a + consonant sounds (/b/, /d/,/p/, /t/, etc
  • an + vowel sounds (/æ/, /e/, /ɪ/, etc)

A union

An hour

A computer

A university

An email

→  An orange

2. With singular countable nouns when we speak about them for the first time:

→  Two people are knocking at the door. A man and a woman.

3. After the verb “to be” to say what someone/something is:

→ He’s a pilot 

→ she’s an engineer

→ It’s an apple                         

→ It’s a tablet.

4. In certain expressions to show how often something is done:

→ We go on holiday once a year. → We study English three times a week.

5.  To mean “one”, with some numbers and fractions.

a hundred

a thousand

a third (1/3)

6.  In certain phrases:

a few

a little

a lot …

7.  To refer to people and things in general.

A fly is an insect. (= all flies)

A teacher should be patient. (=all teachers)

Articles in English a an the /no article

definite article


B. ‘The’ is used:( articles grammar )

  1. When the noun is mentioned for a second time or is already known.

→ I have a cat and a dog. The cat’s name is Lucy and the dog’s name is Rex.

→ He has a car and a bicycle. The car is very expensive.

2. With nouns that are unique:

The sun       

 → The moon         

 → The Earth

3. With names of musical instruments:

→ He plays the piano.           

→  Tom plays the drums.

4. With superlatives:

→ Nancy is the best friend I have ever had.

→ What is the tallest building in the world?

5- With morning, afternoon, evening:

→In the morning/afternoon/evening.

6. To talk about something specific:

→ we went to the café which is next to the bank.

→ I want the red jacket, not the black one.

7. With adjectives used as nouns to refer to a group of people:

→ The elderly (= old people)

→  The sick (= sick people)

→ The homeless (= people who have no home)

→  The rich (= rich people)

→  The young (= young people)…

8. With the names of certain countries:

→ The United States         

→ The United Kingdom

The Netherlands             

 → The Czech Republic …

9. With the names of oceans, seas, and rivers:

The Atlantic                     

→ The red sea               

The Mississippi

10.  With the names of hotels, theatres, museums, and newspapers:

The Hilton                               

The Sheraton 

→  The National Theatre         

The Royal Theatre,

The Natural History Museum     

 The Times     

→ The Newsweek…

C. No article:

  1. With plural countable nouns:

Dogs love bones.

→ I usually read newspapers/books.

2. With uncountable nouns:

Chocolate is bad for your teeth.

→ I love milk.

3. With names of countries, cities, towns:

→ He’s from Australia.

→  She lives in London.

→  The conference will take place in New York.

4. With languages:

→ She speaks Russian and English.

→ I’m learning Chinese.

5. With games, sports, and school subjects:

→ My son loves chess.

→ They play tennis twice a week.

→ Maths is his favorite subject.

6. With meals:

Dinner is ready.

→ I had breakfast at 07:00.

This lesson will surely help you learn how to form new words in English.

Articles in English a an the video

Fo rules of articles in English grammar pdf check this