March 25, 2019
Simple Past – The Man with No Past – O Homen Sem Passado!
Hey friends, how are you doing on this lovely Friday?
I have a new grammar post for you. In this post, we will learn more about articles in English. First we will talk about indefinite articles (A and An) and then about the definite article “the”. Remember, if you have questions you can always leave me a comment, alright?
INDEFINITE ARTICLES – A & AN
Before I explain to you what indefinite articles are, we need to talk about nouns. Why? Because articles usually go before a noun.
In my previous post I taught what a noun is. So let’s take a look at a quick review:
A noun is a word that can be: a place, a person OR a thing/object. For example:
Indefinite articles are the words A and AN used before nouns. We use the indefinite article in the singular, when we are describing a general object, person or place.
I need a car – in this case, I say that I need a car. It is not a specific car. It is a general idea. I’m not specific about what kind of car I need. That’s when we should use the indefinite article.
Now, we never use articles before names, ok? For example “Cristina”. That’s a name therefore we should not use the article in this case. A doctor. In this case it is ok. “doctor” is a noun that describes a “person”, a “job”.
Let’s see more examples:
A dog – an animal
A book – an object, a thing
An door – an object, a thing
An egg – it is a thing, a kind of food.
As I mentioned above, articles are used before nouns. For example: a house, a dog, a teacher, a table
What’s the difference between A & AN? They have the same meaning, but we use “A” when the noun starts with a consonant sound, or “AN” when the noun starts with a vowel sound.
A teacher – A student
An egg – An apple
Now, in English, the sound is more important so, for example a university (in English everything is related to the sound not necessarily the spelling, ok?) An hour (H is a consonant, but in this case it is silent, so the sound you make is actually of a vowel (/o/)
You can also watch a video lesson I made on YouTube about this subject. Check it out:
DEFINITE ARTICLE – THE
You learned that the indefinite article is used for general ideas, you are not being specific about the noun you are talking about. With definite articles, this is different! You know exactly what you are talking about. The noun or the thing, the person, or the object is specific. Look at the example below.
The dog, outside my house, is barking
In this phrase, I’m talking about a specific dog. It is not just any dog. It is the dog outside my house. I know what dog I’m talking about. It is not a general idea.
Another example: Imagine you are inside a school and you ask this question:
Excuse-me, where is the cafeteria?
You are talking about a specific cafeteria. The cafeteria inside the school.
That’s the main difference between the indefinite and definite articles.
The children are playing outside.
Children (plural of child)
This is a phrase in the plural. I am talking about the kids/children who are playing outside. These are specific children, it is not a general idea. But one interesting thing about the definite article the is that I can use this article in sentences in the plural.
The indefinite articles A/AN CANNOT BE USED IN THE PLURAL. ONLY IN THE SINGULAR, OK?
I have a video on YouTube where I teach this lesson. You can watch it as well:
Now that you know what definite and indefinite articles are, how about some exercises?
TIME TO PRACTICE!
h. ___ city
i. ___ elevator
a. Can you pass ___ salt please?
b. I would like ___ cup of tea?
c. My sister is ___ lawyer
d. He is ___ man who can help you with this problem
e. ___ History teacher asked me to study more.
f. Do you have ___ umbrella?
There you go! You got explanations and exercises. I hope you enjoyed this post. How about sharing it with your friends? Don’t forget to leave me a comment!