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Articles

What are Articles?

Articles are the words that are used to mark whether a noun in a sentence is specific or not.
Consider the following example sentence:
Sentence: A car ran into a wall the other day. Fortunately, the people in the car had no serious injuries.
The above sentence talks about a car hitting a wall. In the first sentence, we are unsure about which car ran into which wall. That means the nouns (a car and a wall) are indefinite nouns. But in the second sentence, we know about the car that ran into the wall and the people who are present in that car. Now, the nouns (the car, the wall and the people) become definite nouns.
From the above example sentence, we can distinguish the usage of definite articles and indefinite articles.

There are two types of articles:
1. Indefinite Articles.
2. Definite Article.

Indefinite Articles

‘A’ and ‘an’ are known as the indefinite articles. We use indefinite articles when we are referring to an unspecified person, thing or quantity.
Consider the following examples:
i. I visited a shopping mall yesterday.
ii. I had an apple last night.
In both the examples, the nouns (a shopping mall, an apple) are unspecified.

Notes:
1. We use the indefinite article ‘a’ before a word beginning with a consonant sound. A toy, a book, a house, a pen, a couch etc. are some examples.
2. We use the indefinite article ‘an’ before a word beginning with a vowel sound. An apple, an elephant, an idea, an umbrella etc. are some examples.
3. Not all nouns that start with a consonant letter begin with the corresponding consonant sound. We should trust the pronunciation (sounding) of the letter, not just the position of the letter. This rule is also applicable to the nouns starting with a vowel letter. Pronunciation is very important in choosing
the appropriate article for a noun.

Examples:
1. A hour (incorrect)
An hour (correct, because the letter ‘h’ is silent here and the word is pronounced as ‘an aar’ (vowel sounding)).
2. A honour (incorrect)
An honour (correct, because the letter ‘h’ is silent here and the word is pronounced as ‘an aanar’ (vowel sounding)).
3. An university (incorrect)
A university (correct, because the vowel letter ‘u’ is pronounced as ‘yoo’ (consonant sounding)).

4. An one-eyed monster (incorrect)
A one-eyed monster (correct, because the vowel letter ‘o’ is pronounced as ‘va’ (consonant sounding)).
5. Acronyms also follow the same rule:
a) A MP (incorrect)
An MP (correct, because the acronym pronounced as ‘Empee’ (Vowel sounding)).
b) An UNICEF initiative (incorrect)
A UNICEF initiative (correct, because the acronym pronounced as ‘YOONICEF’ (Consonant sounding)).
We use indefinite articles in the following cases:
i. When the indefinite article demonstrates the numerical sense of ‘one’.
Examples:
Hundred centimetres make a metre.
Not a single word was uttered.
Sixty minutes make an hour.
ii. When the noun in a sentence is of uncertain, indefinite, or unclear meaning.

Examples:
Out of nowhere, an elephant came across my vehicle.
One afternoon, a preacher came to my house.
A Rajesh is suspected by the police. (Here, ‘Rajesh’ is an uncertain person)
iii. To demonstrate an individual as the representative of a class or group.
Examples:
​​​​​​​ A student should obey his teacher.
​​​​​​​An elephant is a large animal.
​​​​​​​ A library is a place where a lot of books were kept.

Model Questions

Directions (Qs. 1 - 8): Choose the appropriate articles for the following sentences. Select ‘no article’, if any article is not necessary for the sentence.
1. ........ Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature.
A) a     B) an     C) the     D) no article
Explanation: We use the definite article ‘the’ before the names of religious books. The Ramayana, The Bible, The Quran etc. are some examples.                                                                 Ans: C

2. It is ........ honour to be an Indian.
A) a      B) an      C) the     D) no article
Explanation: The letter ‘h’ is silent in the word ‘honour’, and the word is pronounced as ‘aanar’ (vowel sounding). So, we use the indefinite article ‘an’ here.                                       Ans: B

3. Radha is ........ beautiful girl.
A) a        B) an            C) the          D) no article
Explanation: we use the indefinite article ‘a’ before an adjective that followed by a singular noun (here girl).       Ans: A

4. Our house is in ........ North.
A) a         B) an          C) the           D) no article
Explanation: If any direction (East, South, North-West, South-East etc.) comes after a verb, we do not use any article before that direction (E.g.: We drove East all night). But if a direction comes after a preposition, we use the definite article ‘the’ before the direction.
                                                                           Ans: C

5. Hard work leads to ........ success.
A) a       B) an        C) the            D) no article
Explanation: We cannot use any article before the abstract nouns (here success).
                                                                 Ans: D

6. The student makes ........ noise in the class.
A) a         B) an          C) the           D) no article
Explanation: If we use the nouns such as ‘-ache’, ‘noise’, ‘commotion’, ‘lie’, ‘hole’ etc. in singular case, we use the indefinite article ‘a’ before them.
                                                               Ans: A

7. My friend lives in ........ United Kingdom.
A) a         B) an           C) the             D) no article
Explanation: We use the definite article ‘the’ if the name of the countries contains the words such as ‘States’, ‘Kingdom’, ‘Republic’, ‘Emirates’, ‘Union’, ‘Coast’, etc.
                                                           Ans: C

8. The hard work of ........ Sachin Tendulkar is well known in the cricketing world.
A) a     B) an       C) the         D) no article
Explanation: We use the definite article ‘the’ to refer to a particular person or thing (The hard work of some person). But we cannot use ‘the’ before the names of persons unless we use them for a definite cause.
                                                             Ans: D

Definite Article

‘The’ is known as the definite article. We use definite articles to point out a particular person or thing.
Consider the following examples:
i. I saw the movie yesterday.
ii. He is the culprit.
In both the examples, the nouns (the movie, the culprit) are particularly specified.
We use definite articles in the following cases:
1. Before singular countable nouns, plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns which are mentioned particularly in a sentence.
Examples:
Please return the books which I had given to you.
He is the boy who got the better grades in the semester exams.
The Nile is the longest river in the world.

2. When a particular person or thing is already referred to something.
Examples:
The mobile I wanted is out of stock. (That particular mobile I wanted)
I saw a baby playing. After sometime the baby cried. (The baby who was playing)
3. Before some proper nouns.
i. Oceans and seas
Examples: the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Arctic etc.
ii. Rivers
Examples: the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganga, the Yamuna etc.
iii. Deserts
Examples: the Thar, the Kalahari, the Sahara, etc.
iv. Groups of islands
Examples: the Caribbean, the Philippines, the Maldives etc.
v. Mountain ranges
Examples: the Himalayas, the Andes, the Rocky Mountains, the Alps etc.
vi. Names of kingdoms, republics
Examples: the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the Hague, the People's Republic of China etc.
vii. Names of unique things.
Examples: The Sun, the Sky, the Earth, the Moon, the Jupiter etc.
viii. Before a proper noun when it is qualified by an adjective.
Examples: The great Indian festival, the immortal Shakespeare, the cool head etc.
ix. With Superlative degree of comparison
Examples:
This is the best food I have ever eaten.
We spent the coldest night ever in our life yesterday.
x. With ordinals
Examples:
He was the first man to arrive the station.
This is the last thing I have to do.

Zero Article/ No Article:

Sometimes, a noun phrase can withstand on its own without having any article in front of it. That case is known as zero article/ no article.
Let’s take 3 example sentences:
​​​​​​​​​​ I want to buy a pack of rice. (Indefinite article)
​​​​​​​ I like the rice in this store. (Definite article)
​​​​​​​ I eat rice every day. (Zero article/ No article)
We use Zero Article/ No Article in the following cases:
i. With Singular Countable nouns
Examples: Asia, India, Hyderabad, Rajiv Gandhi Airport, Secunderabad railway station, Vengal Rao street, Tank Bund, Lake Victoria, Manoj, Sanskrit, French, History, Geography, Sunday, January, Cricket, football, chess, breakfast, dinner, platform 1, home etc.
ii. With Plural Uncountable nouns
Examples: people, water, groceries, goods, clothes, police etc.
iii. With Abstract nouns
Examples: truth, danger, happiness, love, hate etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted Date : 05-02-2022

గమనిక : ప్రతిభ.ఈనాడు.నెట్లో వచ్చే ప్రకటనలు అనేక దేశాల నుండి, వ్యాపారస్తులు లేదా వ్యక్తుల నుండి వివిధ పద్ధతులలో సేకరించబడతాయి. ఆయా ప్రకటనకర్తల ఉత్పత్తులు లేదా సేవల గురించి ఈనాడు యాజమాన్యానికీ, ఉద్యోగస్తులకూ ఎటువంటి అవగాహనా ఉండదు. కొన్ని ప్రకటనలు పాఠకుల అభిరుచిననుసరించి కృత్రిమ మేధస్సు సాంకేతికతతో పంపబడతాయి. ఏ ప్రకటనని అయినా పాఠకులు తగినంత జాగ్రత్త వహించి, ఉత్పత్తులు లేదా సేవల గురించి తగిన విచారణ చేసి, తగిన జాగ్రత్తలు తీసుకొని కొనుగోలు చేయాలి. ఉత్పత్తులు / సేవలపై ఈనాడు యాజమాన్యానికి ఎటువంటి నియంత్రణ ఉండదు. కనుక ఉత్పత్తులు లేదా సేవల నాణ్యత లేదా లోపాల విషయంలో ఈనాడు యాజమాన్యం ఎటువంటి బాధ్యత వహించదు. ఈ విషయంలో ఎటువంటి ఉత్తర ప్రత్యుత్తరాలకీ తావు లేదు. ఫిర్యాదులు తీసుకోబడవు.

 

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