What are articles on English grammar? An article is a word used before a noun to indicate whether a noun refers to something specific or not. A, an and the are articles.
- I need a pencil box.
In the previous sentence we find the article “a“. This shows us that he does not need a specific pencil box. He can have any pencil box.
- I want an apple.
In the previous sentence we find the article “an“. This shows us that he does not need a specific apple. He can have any apple.
- I want the yellow car.
In the previous sentence we find the article “the” This shows us that the speaker wants a specific car.
In English, there are two kinds of grammar articles.
The Definite Article
‘Definite’ means clear, obvious.
A definite article tells us that a noun is specific. A speaker talks about a certain (or known) thing.
The definite article in English is ‘the’.
- The knife I bought very sharp.
- He has a son and two daughters. The son is a engineer.
- The teachers were really good.
- I remember the day we first met.
The can be used before both singular and plural nouns.
- The book he gave me was very interesting.
- The apples on the table are dirty.
The Indefinite Article
‘Indefinite’ means not clear, not exact.
An indefinite article tells us that a noun is not definitive. The speaker talks about anything of this kind.
The indefinite articles in English are ‘a’ and ‘an’.
- I need a book.
- He does not tell us what book he needs. He just need a book, any book.
- Diana wants to listen a song.
- She does not tell us which song Diana wants to listen . She wants to listen some song.
What is the difference between ‘a’ and ‘an’?
‘A’ and ‘an’ have the same meaning. We use ‘a’ before a consonant sound.
- a dog
- a building
- a country
- a professor
- a university
We use ‘an’ before a vowel sound.
- an apple
- an umbrella
- an eye
- an hour
We use ‘a’ and ‘an’ only before a singular noun. We can’t use ‘a’ and ‘an’ before a plural noun.