USE OF ARTICLES (a, an, the)

What did these words originally mean?
A or AN?


-       Use A before a consonant sound

-       Use AN before a vowel sound

So:   a banana,
        an orange,
        a university (vowel letter but a consonant sound - /j/)
        an MTR train (consonant letter but a vowel sound - /em/)




Use of A/AN


You use these words with a singular, countable noun:

-       when something is mentioned for the first time
E,g. There is a gorilla in the general office

-       when you mention one of a group of objects but do not make it clear which of them you mean

E.g. Go to the cupboard and bring me a plate

(The listener already knows about the plates in the cupboard but it does not matter which of the plates he brings)

You ALWAYS need to use A or AN with a singular countable noun unless it already has  a word like the, my, this etc.showing  which person or thing is being referred to:

So:   I saw a dog/the dog/your dog/ this dog     Ö
  BUT     I saw dog   X


Using THE

Use THE when the listener or reader already knows which person or thing you are referring to:

-       something which has already been mentioned before.
E.g. The gorilla switched on the air-conditioner  (you know about the gorilla because I mentioned it before as an example for A/AN)

-       there is only one of something
E,g. The earth goes round the sun

-       you are pointing to a person or thing
E,g. Look at the car! It’s coming towards us!

-       there is a phrase after the noun telling us which person or thing is being referred to
E.g. The student standing by the door is Lee Mo Yung

       The girl in the green dress is going to sing a song

       The king of Spain is very popular

      The man who came to dinner will not see us again





 EXERCISE EXAMPLE


My school is very big. It has three special rooms. It has a multi-media room, a music room and an art room.  The multi-media room and the music room are on the first floor and the art room is on the second floor. My school also has a playground and a basketball court.


All the students in my school are very active. Most of them take part in a different extra-curricular activity every day. My school also organizes an inter-form competition every month. Sometimes we ask the principal and our form teachers to join us.

PRACTICAL EXERCISE



1. I realized that ___________ smallest change i had was____ ten dollar note
ANS.I realized that the smallest change I had was a ten dollar note


2.I Was rubbing myself with ___________ towel when I heard ___ steps.
Ans. I was rubbing myselp with a towel  when I heard the steps.


3. ____ heavy policeman bounded up ____steps .
Ans . A heavy policeman bounded up the steps.


4.In ____small silence,we all heard ___creaking in ___________attie.
Ans . In the small silence, we all heard a creaking in the attic.


5. We saw small bits of grass peeping through _______small  cracks in ___ concrete pavement.
Ans. We saw small  bits  of grass peeping through  the small cracks in a concrete pavement.


6.Finding __________ plants and trees took another year and  ______half.
Ans. Finding the plants and trees took another yearand a half.


7.________ other idea is _______ eco – park for children .
Ans.The other is an eco – park for children.


8.It is _____ part of _____ series of adventures across various locations in India.
Ans. It is a part of a series of adventures across various locations in India.


9.Although winning is _____ goal, he learned _______ value of finishing what he started.
Ans. Although winnig is a goal, he learned the value of finishing what he started.


10.In ________ sport like badminton, her performances are all _______ more creditable.
Ans.In a sport like badminton, her performances are all the more creditable.


11.________energy sector  has not been  able to keep pace with ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______rate of economic developement.
Ans. The energy  sector has not been able to keep pace with the rate of economic developement.


12.pv modules exposed to ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______ sun can produce enough power to run _______ basic appliances in _____home.
Ans.pv modules exposed to the sun can produce enough power to run the basic appliances in a home.


13.______ grid solar power plants  are _____very new phenomenon in India.
Ans.The grid solar power plants are a very new phenomenon in India.


14.Two meals _____ day was _____tough challenge.
Ans. Two meals a day was a tough challenge.


15.He is  approaching _____age of 75 now  and he still works 25 hours _____ day.
Ans.He is approaching the age of 75 now and he still works 25 hours a day.


16.If ______large number of cases are examined, _________ hollowness of such beliefs becomes apparent.
Ans. If a large number of cases are examined, the hollowness of such beliefs becomes apparent.


17.Performing _______ act of kindness produces _____ positive attitude.
Ans.Performing an act of kindness produces a positive attitude.


18._________ high temprature changes ________ taste to _______ more pleasant impression.
Ans.The high temprature changes the taste to a more pleasant impression.


19.I am ____ very visual person and I am _____ only child.
Ans.I am a very visual person and I am the only child.


20.Henna is _____ popular cosmetics used to beauty ________ hands and other parts of ______body.
Ans.Henna is a popular cosmetics used to beauty the hands and other parts of the body.


21.In _____ way, one of ______ greatest gift any teacher can give ______ student is to inculcate ______ curiosity to learn.
Ans.In a way, one of a  greatest gift any teacher can give a student is to inculcate a curiosity to learn.


22.I had _____ uneasy night with all _____ weird traffic sounds.
Ans.I had an uneasy night with all the weird traffic  sounds.


23.I would waste hundreds of paper at _______ drop of _______hat.
Ans.I would waste hundreds of paper at the drop of a hat.


24._______ natural choice for _______ diploma engineer is to go for ________Btech.
Ans.The natural choice for a diploma engineer is to go for a Btech.


25.Part of ______ answer lies in setting up _____ right systems.

Ans. Part of the answer lies in setting up the right systems. 

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