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Articles – Uses and its Types

Grade 3
Sep 2, 2022

Use of a, an, the 

A, an, and the are known as articles. They are used to point out nouns and define a noun as specific or unspecific. 

Articles modify or describe nouns. 

The two types of articles in English are definite article and indefinite article. 

The definite article 

The definite article is ‘the.’ We use ‘the’ to denote specific nouns. Article ‘the’ is used when we talk about a thing which we have already mentioned. 

‘The’ is used for singular or plural nouns. 


For example: The puppy is brown in color. (We have already talked about the puppy.) 

‘The’ is also used when a thing is only one of its kind. 

For example: The sun, the moon, the Statue of Liberty 

The indefinite article 

The indefinite article has two forms- ‘a’ and ‘an.’ They indicate nouns that are not specific. 

‘A’ and ‘an’ are used to introduce singular nouns. They are used to denote nouns which are mentioned for the first time.  


For example: Jeff has a puppy. (It can be any puppy.) 

                       She ate an apple.  

‘A’ is preceded by a word that begins with a consonant. 

For example: a goat, a plate, a European (‘European’ starts with a consonant sound) 

‘An’ is preceded by a word that begins with a vowel sound. Vowels are a, e, i, o, u. 

For example: an apple, an umbrella. 

No articles 

In some cases, no articles are used. This is when we talk about something in general or when we mention a city or country or with superlatives. 

For example: I love movies. 

I visited Switzerland last year. 

Using a or an – Exceptional case 

We usually use “a” before consonants and “an” before vowel sounds. There are exceptions to this. 

When a word begins with a consonant, but sounds like a vowel, itis preceded by ‘an.’ 

For example: The school program will start in an hour.  

When a word’s first letter is a vowel, but is pronounced as a consonant, it is preceded by ‘a.’ 

For example: Mike is a European.  


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