Let's Learn about 'a','an',and ‘the’ - Orchids The International School
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Articles

Concept: Let's Learn about 'a','an',and ‘the’

Definition

  • the three articles ‘A’, ‘An’, and ‘The’ are used the English language.
  • An article is placed before a noun.
  • Articles help to know the number in relation to a noun, which can be a number of a place, person, object, or idea.

Examples:

Boy

Let’s take a look at the three articles ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’.

  1. A
    • The article ‘a’ is placed before common nouns that are in the singular form. This means to use the word ‘a’ with words that are not more than one in number.
    • It is also used before nouns beginning with a consonant sound.

    Examples:

    Boy
  2. An

    The article ‘an’ is used before nouns that are in the singular form, but they should begin with a vowel sound. The vowels are a, e, i, o, and u.

    Examples:

    Boy
  3. The

    The article ‘the’ is used to point to a specific person or thing from the rest.

    Examples:

    Boy

Now, let’s revise vowels and consonants.

Boy
  • The letters (a, e, i, o, u i) are referred to as vowels.
  • The rest of the letters in the English alphabet are consonants.
  • We use ‘an’ before the vowel sound words.
  • We use ‘a’ before the consonant sound words.

Rules:

  1. The article ‘the’ is used before singular as well as plural nouns when the noun is specific.

    Example:

    Rahul and Soham are going to the restaurant tonight.

    (Here, use ‘the’ as it is referring to a specific restaurant.)

  2. The article ‘the’ is used with words like ‘best’, ‘most’, and ‘greatest’.

    Example:

    Rahul is the best guitarist in his class.

    (Here, use ‘the’ as there can only one who is the best in class)

  3. The article ‘the’ is used before names of oceans, seas, rivers, and canals.

    Example:

    1. I would like to swim in the Ganga river.
    2. The river Nile is located in Africa.

Common Mistakes:

  1. Do not use articles ‘a’ and ‘an’ with plural nouns.

    Example:

    • a boy
    • a boys
  2. Both ‘a’ and ‘an’ should be used as per the sound and not the letter of the word.

    Example:

    1. a university
      (Here ‘university’ is pronounced as ‘ew’, which is not a vowel pronunciation, so ‘a’ is used.)
    2. an hour
      (Here, ‘h’ is silent hence it is pronounced as ‘our’, which is a vowel sound, so ‘an’ is used.)
    3. an umbrella
      (Here, ‘umbrella’ is pronounced as ‘um’ which is a vowel sound, so, ‘an’ is used.)
Boy
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