New Model Master English
Articles

 

Articles

Articles are ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’
1. Indefinite Articles: ‘A’ and ‘an’. (Don’t specify which particular thing/person, we are reffering to)

(e.g)I say a girl standing on the road.
Definition(Some girl - not definite)
(e.g)He said he would have an orange.
Definition(any orange - not definite)

2. Definite Article ‘The’ is called Definite Article. (It specifies a particular thing/person. )

(e.g)I have lost the book you gave me.
Definition(a particular book)
A and An

1. ‘A’ is used with words beginning with consonantal sound.

  • Words, which begin with consonants (including Y, and also ‘h’ when it is pronounced):
    as, a teacher, a student, a book, a chair, a human being, a historical novel, a yellow paper, a youngman, a year. (not an year)
  • Word beginning with certain words which have consonantal sound.
    a) Words which begin with a ‘Y’ sound: as, a university, a useful thing, a European, a union.
    b) Words which begin with a ‘W’ sound: as a one-legged man, a one-man tribunal, etc.

2. ‘An’ is used before words beginning with a vowel sound.

  • Words beginning with vowels:
    as, an elephant, an umbrella, an eye, an ear, an apple, an ox, an American, an Australlian.
  • Words beginning with consonants having a vowel sound.
    an MA., an MP. and MLA
  • Words beginning with a silent ’h: as
    an hour, an honour, an heir, an honest man, an hour.

 
Use of the Indefinite Articles A and An

‘A’ and ‘an’ used

1. Before a common noun, which must be

  • Singular and contable
  • general and unknown in nature
  • used for the first time
  • used to represent a class of things or species
  • (e.g)a) There was once a holy man. He lived alone in a hut.
    b) A banian tree grows to a huge sie. (That is, all banian trees frow ot a huge size)

2. Before numerical expressions, in expressions of price, speed and ratio.

(e.g)a) Buy me half a dozen oranges.
b) I gave him a one rupee note
c) He has a lot of books in his library
d) Rice sells at Rs. 40 a kilo
e) He drove his car at hundred kilometers an hour

3. In exclamations before singular and countable nouns

(e.g)a) What a fine innings!
b) What a beautiful face!

4. Before a proper name to mean a certain person of that name, who is unknown to the speaker

(e.g)A Mr.David came to see you.
Definition(a person named David not known ot the speaker)

5. Before a famous proper noun to make it a common noun of the same quality and merit.

(e.g)a) He spends as if he was a Tata. (a millionaire)
b) He is a second Napolean. (a brave man)
c) You are a Shylock. (a greedy man)

6. Before nouns of professions.

(e.g)a) She became a nun
b) My son is an engineer

7. Before ‘few’ and ‘little’ to mean a small number and a small quantity.

(e.g)a) I have a few rupees.
b) She wants a little sugar for tea

8. With positives and comparatives but not with superlatives.

(e.g)This is a big house: but that is a bigger house.
Definition(It is incorrect to say that is a bigger house)
(e.g)This is a most interesting book
Definition(But when ‘most’ is used in the sense of ‘very’, ‘verymuch’, ‘a’ is used before it)

9. In the sense of ‘one

(e.g)a) A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
b) He owns a car and two taxies.
c) A stitch in time saves nine.
d) I bought a dozen apples.
e) Please wait a minute.

10. Sometimes in the vague sense of a ‘certain

(e.g)a) I saw a hawker selling his wares in the street.
b) A girl has come to see you.

11. In the sense of ‘any’ or a single

(e.g)a) There is not a man here who will support you.

12. In the sense of ‘every

(e.g)a) He gets a salary of 45,000/- a month.

13. With a singular noun to make the latter represent a whole class.

(e.g)a) A dog is faithful to his master.
Definition(Meaning all dogs).
(e.g)b) A cow has horns.
Definition(All cows).

14. After some prepositions, especially ‘as’, ‘for’, ‘on’, and ‘at

(e.g)a) I can go to a movie today. (There are many to choose from)
b) I ought to see a doctor.

16. After the verb ‘to be called

(e.g)It is called a screw driver
 
Use of the Definite Articles ‘the

The definite article ‘the’ is used

1. Before common nouns, which, may be

  • Singular or plural in number
  • countable or uncountable
  • particular and known in nature
  • repeatedly used after the first time

(e.g)a) I aksed the boys not to play in the street (must be the street infront of his house)
b) The boys of class-X have assembled here.
c) She dropped the can (must be the can she was carrying).
d) I called for a waiter. The waiter with a moustache came.
e) The crow is a clever bird. (means all the crows)
f) The young will have to shoulder the responsibilities. (mean all the young men and women)

2. Before nouns which are only one in the world.

(e.g)a) We have landed men on the moon.
b) The sky was a brilliant blue.

3. Before nouns which have superlative adjectives (or) ordinal numbers before them.

(e.g)a) He is hte cleverst man I ever know.
b) This is the first example which I gave.

4. Before the names of seas, oceans, mountains, group of islands and rivers.

(e.g)The Indian ocean, the Himalayas, the Andaman Nicobar, the Ganges.

5. Before the countries that have plural nouns as their names.

(e.g)the Netherlands, the Philippines..

6. Sometimes before countries, towns, and proper nouns when these refer to some general name.

(e.g)a) ashmir is the Switzerland of India.
b) Kalidas is the Shakespeare of India.
c) The U.S.A. (but not, the America)
d) The U.S.S.R. (but not, the Russia)

7. Before the names of a musical instrument

(e.g)He plays the Piano well. (But, he plays tennis well)

8. With the adjectives such as ‘rich’, ‘poor’, ‘young’, ‘old’, and ‘unemployed’ to talk about a general group of people.

(e.g)a) The were discussing the problem of the unemployed.
b) This school for the blind.
c) The poor always suffer.

9. To refer to the names of families.

(e.g)the Nehrus, the Browns, the Toms, the Johns

10. With the names of some of the great books of religions of literature.

(e.g)the Ramayana; the Bible; the Vedas; the Koran;

11. With the names of some famous building.

(e.g)the Taj Mahal; the Great wall of China, the Pyramids.

12. With some Nationality adjectives to talk about the people who live in a country.

(e.g)the French, the British, the Indians.

13. Before east, west, north and south when they are used as nouns.

(e.g)a) He is a man from the North
b) There has been a lot of rain in the south.

14. Before the names of meals if they are made specific by a phrase or clause.

(e.g)a) I enjoyed the breakfast they gave us.
b) The dinner on the plane was bad.

15. Before abstract nouns or material nouns when they are made particular with the aid of some adjective or phrase or clause.

(e.g)a) The beauty of the Taj has not yet faded.
b) The water of this well is very sweet.
c) The rice of Punjob is of the best quality.

16. Before a noun which is the only one of its kind in a given situation

(e.g)a) The headmaster is in his office.
b) The school is a kilometre from here.

17.

  • In time phrases such as;
    the beginning, the middle, the end, the past, the present, the future, in the morning/in the evening/ (but at noon/night/midnight) the day before yesterday, the week after next. the day after tomorrow.
  • with the names of newspapers (e.g) The Hindu, The Sunday Mail, the Indian Express.
  • with the names of parts of the body as (e.g) the leg, the hand etc.
  • before the names of ships, aeroplanes, trians as (e.g) The victory, The Yarcaurd Express.

 
Ommision of Articles - A and An

A and An are not used

1. Before plural nouns.
The following nouns such as, people, cattle, policy, gentry, poultry, clergy, swine, are plural nouns. Hence ‘a’ and ‘an’ cannot be used before them.

(e.g)a) Cattle are grazing the field.
b) The people are happy.
c) Policy are on the Criminals.

2. Before abstract nouns such as truth, beauty, honesty, greatness, advice, etc.

(e.g)a) Honesty is the best policy.
b) Beauty is truth.
c) He gave me a good advice.

3. Before material nouns such as glass, wood, iron, stone, paper, milk, rice, wheat etc. They take an article when they refer to one particular thing.

(e.g)a) Rice grows in Bengal.
b) She wrote on paper in ink. (No article is used)
I want a newspaper (article is used)
c) The window is made of glass (but, have a glass of milk).

4. Before a common noun used in its widest sense (generic)

(e.g)a) Man is mortal.
b) Woman is man’s mate.
c) Animals have an undeveloped brain.

5. In certain verb phrases (Transitive verb + noun)

(e.g)a) He left school at an early age (not a school).
b) Her clothes caught fire, while she was cooking (not a fire).
c) He sent word that he was going to Chennai. (not a word)

In certain prepositional phrases (preposition + noun)

(e.g)a) We can travel by road / by air (not by a road / bya an air).
b) We shall start at noon / at night.
c) He went to school on foot / on horse back.
 
Omition of the Definite Article - The

The definite Article ‘the’ is not used.

1. Before abstract nouns unless they are used to particularise somethings or some one.

(e.g)He experienced joy.
Definition(But the joy that he experienced at his marriage did not last long)

2. After a noun in the possessive case or a possessive adjective

(e.g)a) I met the boy’s father.
Definition(not the boy’s the father)
(e.g)b) It is my saree not yours.
Definition(not my the saree)

3. Before the names of countries, towns villages or proper names.

ExceptionsThe Netharlands, the Congo, the Stand

4. Before name of meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea.

(e.g)a) I always have bread and butter for breakfast
Definition(not the breakfast)
(e.g)b) I invited him to dinner.
Definition(not the dinner)

5. Before the names of games. Chees, football, cricket.

(e.g)a) He plays cricket.
b) I play football

6. Before some common-nouns: Church, hospital, college, market, sea, bed etc. When they are used in connection with their primary purpose. Namely studying sleeping taking treatment etc.

(e.g)a) Tom goes to school daily.
b) I went to hospital to consult a doctor.
c) She has gone to church.
But when we refer to these words as places, we use the definite article.
(e.g)a) I went to the school to meet the headmaster.
b) I went to hospital to see my friend.
c) there is a Church in the street.

7. Before a noun which is used in the general sense,

(e.g)Man is mortal.
Definition (not The / A man is mortal)

8. Before the complement in sentences

(e.g)a) They elected him president.
Definition (not the president)
(e.g)b) He was appointed headmaster.
Definition (not the headmaster)

9. Before common nouns in pairs.

(e.g)a) Father and son are both deaf.
b) Husband and wife are both stingy.
c) Mohan and Seema are brother and sister.

10. Before the names of

  • towns
  • countries
  • continents
  • Islands
  • lakes
  • peaks of mountains
  • titles such as king, general, captain
  • diseases
  • languages
  • colours
  • games
  • meals such as lunch, breakfast, dinner

(e.g)a) London is the capital of England.
b) Canada is the most sophisticated country.
c) Asia is the largest continent.
d) Java is the central island of Indonesia.
e) Lake superior is in the U.S.A.
f) Everest is the highest peak.
g) General David was a brave man.
h) Cancer is a dangerous disease.
i) English is spoken all over the world.
j) We prefer green to red.
k)he plays tennis daily.
l) I had breakfast quite late.

11. Before such nouns as heaven, Hell, fate, nature, god et.

(e.g)a) Fate plays an important part in life.
b) Wordsworth loved nature.
c) Heaven only knowns what I have done.

12. Before the names of languages, arts and science, subject etc.

(e.g)a) English is rich in idioms (But The English means the people of England)
b) History is my favourite subject.
c) Mathematics is an esay subject.
 

Repetition of Articles

When several objectives / nouns qualify the same noun article is used before the first adjective / noun only, but when the adjectives refer to different nouns, the articles is used before each adjective / noun.

(e.g)a) A red and white cow (One cow-partly white and partly red) was grazing in the field.
b) A red and a white cow were grazing in the field (two cows - one red, another white).
c) The secretary and Treasurer was present there. (One person holds the two posts)
d) The secretary and the Treasurer were present there. (Two persons hold the two different posts)
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