Articles a,an and the in english

Read the following passage and fill in the missing words.

My sister is artist. After graduating, she took up ...a... job with ...a... company ...the... job involves all over the country. She is very lucky to have ...a... job, as it is very difficult for ...a... girl, who is artist, to get ...a... job in the corporate world.

Did you notice that the world you filled in were a,an or the?
These are known as articles.

As we have already learnt,articles are of two types-

1. Definite
2. indefinite

Usage of article The

The definite article the is used when:
we have already spoken about the person.
For example : I saw a boy in the garden.
The boy was playing football.

In the second sentence , we are referring to the boy whom we have already spoken about.
we are speaking about a specific person or thing or place.
For example : I want to speak to the girl who acted as cinderella.
I will buy the house that i saw yesterday.
Give me the pencil that my brother gave you.
In all of the above examples, we use the before a person, place or thing that we are specifically referring to.
We are speaking about famous buildings, ships, planes, trains or anything that is unique or one of a kind.
For example : I visited Agra to see the taj Mahal.
The Earth goes around the sun.
The Principal is giving a speech.
The Times of india is a very popular newspeper.
The Rajdhani Train goes to Delhi

Usage of articles A and An

The indefinite articles a and an are used when:
We are using singular countable nouns.
For example : a man, an umbrella, a lorry, a radio
We are referring to a person, place or thing for the first time.
For example : An ambulance came immediately to take him away.
An elephant can lift up a truck with its trunk.

When to use a or an?

All of us know that a,e,i,o,u are vowels and all the other letters of the alphabet are consonants.

The indefinite article a is used before all words that begin with consonants.
For example : a cat,a dog, a purple robe, a colourful umbrella, a big apple
There is an exception here.Use an before silent h.
For example : an honourable person , an honest boy

The indefinite article an is used before all words that begin with vowels.
For example : an apple, an egg, an indian, an orbit, an uprising, an igloo
There are two exceptions in this case.
When u makes the same sound as the y in you
For example : a union, a united country, a unicore, a used napkin,a US ship
When o makes the same sound as w in won
For example : a one-legged man, a one-way street, a one-way tickle

if the first letter makes a vowel- type sound, you use an; if the first letter makes a consonant- type sound,you use a.
For example, we should say:
He studied for an MBA degree, and not a MBA degree.

This is because the sound of m starts with the e sound like in the word embrace.
However, we should say:
He studied for a Master in Business Aministraction degree.
This sentence has the same meaning as the previous one,but we use a here since the sound of Master starts with m sound like in the word money.

Fill in the blanks with a,an or the.

1. Ankur went to school in ...the... Morning.
2. I saw ...a... young girl running out of ...the... building which was on fire.
3. This road is known as the Queen's necklace.
4. Eating apple a day is supposed to be very healthy.
5. architect is ...a... person who designs buildings.

Omission of Articles

We do not use the articles : before material nouns.
For example: Cotton is grown in several parts of india.

before abstract nouns when used in a general way.
For example: Virtue is its own reward.

before proper nouns.
For example: Have you talked to Anil about it?

before plural countable nouns that refer to the entire class.
For example: Camels are useful animals.

Complete the sentence with appropriate use of articles. In some case, no article is required.

1. I am a college student.
2. She goes for ...a... run in the evenings.
3. Amitav is ...the... best student in the class.

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