Articles in English Grammar

Articles are words that modify the noun and it is always used before the noun to represent the specific thing. Article always describes the noun and it acts as an adjective. There are two types of articles -Definite article and Indefinite article.

Definite Articles: As we all known ‘definite’ means clear and obvious and this article refers the specific thing or person. ‘The’ is referred as a definite article in English grammar. This article is used to describe particular person or thing. It indicates something which is specific.

For example:The books are kept on the table.
The dog attacked me yesterday night.
The bag which I kept in the cupboard is mine.
The white color house beside the main road is ours.
Here, the subjects or nouns are specified properly.

Indefinite Articles: Indefinite article does not refer to something in an exact manner. This article does not refer the nouns definitely. The specific approach is missing when this article is used in the sentences. ‘A’ and ‘An are the indefinite articles in English grammar. Through this article, any one type of thing is referred in the sentence.

Example: Do you have a notebook?
I want to have a delicious dinner.
An event is organized tomorrow.
I want to watch a thriller Hindi movie.

When the articles ‘A’ and ‘An are used in the sentences.

• ‘A’ is used before a word that starts with the consonant.
Example: A boy, a cat, a fish, a kite, a cup of coffee, etc.

• ‘An’ is used before the word with a vowel sound. On the other hand, ‘An’ is applied before the noun, when the word starts with the vowels (A, E, I, O, U). Example: An apple, an idiot, an elephant

Some more examples when ‘An’ is used based on the sound.
Examples: An hour, an honest man.
Here, the words ‘hour’ and ‘honest’ represent a vowel sound as ‘h’ is silent. Similarly, the word ‘one’ starts with a vowel, but it sounds ‘w’.
Hence, a one rupee note is right.

However, ‘A’ and ‘An’ both are singular and hence, these articles refer the singular noun.
Example: A book, a boy, an egg, an idiot person, etc.

The rules for ‘A’ and ‘An’ are also applicable for the Acronyms.
Example: He is an IIT graduate.
She is an MBA.

However, if an adjective sits before the noun and describes the noun, then based on the adjective’s sound, the appropriate articles are used.
Example: A colorful umbrela.
An umbrela.

However, based on the use of the article, the meaning of the word changes.
Lunch=midday meal
A lunch= a midday meal organized for any event
The lunch= a specific midday meal organized for any event

The usage of ‘The’ is the sentences.
• ‘The’ can be used for count and non-count nouns.
Example: I like the bag.
She likes to play with the water.

• ‘The’ is used before the names of rivers, seas, points on the globe, forests, deserts, geographical areas and others.
Example: The Ganga, the south east, the equator, the Sundarbans, etc.

• ‘The’ is not used before the names of cities and most of the countries.
Example: Delhi, Mumbai, Brazil, India, etc. On the other hand, the Netherlands and the United States are right.

• ‘The’ is not used before the names of streets, lakes and islands. On the other hand, ‘the’ is used before the noun when it refers a group of lakes, ranges of mountains and island chains.
Example: Park Avenue, the Andaman Islands, the Rockies, the Great Lakes.