Kinds of Articles
|1. Indefinite Article (A and An)
2. Definite Article (The)
(A and An) Indefinite Article is used when Singular Countable Noun is used for the first time in a sentence.
(The) when the Singular or Plural Countable Noun denotes the said noun in the sentence, Definite Article is used.
I have a book.
The book is very informative.
Singular Indefinite Noun = A or An
Singular / Plural Definite Noun = The
Forms and Uses of Indefinite Article
Use of Indefinite Article ‘A’ (a)Article A is used with the words beginning with consonants, e.g. A pen, A book. (b) Article A is used before the words beginning with vowel but their pronunciation is like consonants ; e.g. A European, A unique chance, A universal truth
Use of Indefinite Article ‘An’
(a) Article An is used with the words beginning with vowels ;
e.g. An inkpot, An elephant
(b) Article An is used with words beginning with consonant but their pronunciation is
like vowels (Generally words beginning with silent / mute ‘h’) ;
e.g. An hour, An Honest person,
An honourable man Some Important words :
Heir, Honorarium, Honorary, Hour, etc.
(c) Article An is used with some abbreviations pronunciated as vowels; Example :
An M.P., An F.I.R., An S.D.M., An H.M.T., An N.C.C., An R.T.O. etc.
Note: But when the full form of these abbreviations is used, Article ‘A’ comes.
1. A Member of Parliament (an M.P.)
2. A Hindustan Machine Tools watch (an H.M.T. watch)
General Uses of Indefinite Article ( A or An ):
Rule 1 : With Singular Countable Noun (used for the first time in a sentence).
1. Delhi is a city.
2. I have a book.
Rule 2 : When Singular Countable Noun denotes entire class as a whole (entire
1. A fog is a faithful animal.
2. A cow has two horns.
Rule 3 : With Noun Complement.
1. I am a banker.
2. She is an expert in this field.
Rule 4 : A /An + Adjective + Noun
1. She is a beautiful girl.
2. He is an honest man.
Rule 5 : A /An + Adverb +Adjective + Noun
1. He is a very honest man.
2. This is an old rare book.
(If adjective/adverb comes before a noun, then indefinite article is used before the
adjective or adverb.)
Rule 6 : With Exclamatory Sentences
1. What a sunny day!
2. What an unfortunate development!
Rule 7 : With Numerical Expressions like a couple, a dozen, a score, a hundred, a thousand, a million, a lot of, a great many of, etc.
1. A lot of visitors had turned up.
2. He bought a score of mangoes.
Rule 8 : With Expressions of price, speed, ratio, etc.
1. The train is running at ten kilometers an hour.
2. Mangoes are available at thirty rupees a kilogram.
3. Colour and water are mixed at a ratio of two to four.
Rule 9 : A few (for numbers) A little (for quantity)
1. Here is a little milk.
2. There are a few books left.
Rule 10 : With some phrases (list of some important ones given below) To make a
noise, to have a headache/ a pain, to have a cold, to have a mind, to be in a hurry, to
be in a temper, to have a taste for.
1. Please don’t make a noise.
2. He is rather in a hurry.
3. He has caught a severe cold.
Rule 11 : Such + a/an (When such is used with countable noun A/An is used after such)
1. It was such a fine show.
2. I have never seen such a beautiful picture.
3. It was such a fine show.
Rule 12 : So + Adjective + A/An + Noun
1. It was so disgusting a show.
2. He is so cruel a student.
Uses of Definite Article (The)
Rule 1 : With Definite Person(s) or Thing(s) (For that noun which is used earlier or is
specific in nature)
1. This is the chapter I read yesterday.
2. This is the car by which I go to office.
Rule 2 : Before those Proper noun (only one in number) and treated as Common Noun.
1. The sun rises in the east.
2. The moon is a satellite of the earth.
Rule 3 : Before those singular nouns which denotes entire class as a whole (class/species)
1. The cow has two horns.
2. The rose is a sweet smelling flower.
Note: But when Man, Woman or Mankind denotes the entire class in its meaning, Definite Article ‘The’ should not be used. (In fact no article should be used before these words)
Man is a social animal. Mankind originated a billion years ago
Rule 4 : Before names of Mountains, Rivers, Seas, Valleys, Islands, Lakes etc.
1. The Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world.
Note: But with a peak or a mountain, article ‘the’ should not be used.
Mount Everest is the highest peak of the Himalayas.
Rule 5 : Before the names of Books, Newspapers, Novels, Epics etc.
1. The Ramayan and the Mahabhrat are the holy epics of the Hindus.
2. The Tempest is a great novel.
3. The Times of India has highest readership in the country.
Note: But when the name of the Author or Publisher comes with the book, Article ‘The’ should not be used.
Example – Shakespeare’s Tempest is a great novel.
Rule 6 : Before Superlative Adjectives / Adverbs.
The most intelligent student, the tallest boy, the deepest point.
Rule 7 : Before Proper Noun proceeded by Qualifying Adjective
1. The great Einstein, the brave Maharana Pratap ,
2. The gentle-hearted lamb, etc.
Rule 8 : Before Musical Instruments.
Example – The guitar, the drum, the orchestra, the flute, etc.
Rule 9 : Before those adjectives used as Collective Noun
1. The poor should be helped.
2. The noble are always respected.
Rule 10 : With Double Comparative Adverbs
1. The more you get, the more you desire.
2. The harder he works, the better chances of his success.
Rule 11 : With Ordinal Numbers
Example – The first of July, the 1st of July, George the fifth, etc.
Note: But If Ordinal Number is written in Roman Number, ‘The’ should not be used.
Example – July I, George V, etc.
Rule 12 : With professions (before profession name)
1. He has joined the army.
2. I am interested in the teaching profession.
Omission of Articles
Rule 1 : Before Plural Noun (Generally article is not used with plural noun).
Example – Cars were towed.
Note: But when plural noun denotes some defined or special objects/ things, article ‘The’ should be used.
1.The cows of Haryana give much milk.
2.The litchis of Muzaffarpur are world famous.
Rule 2 : Before Uncountable Nouns.
(a) With Proper Noun: Ex- Pinki loves her mother.
(c) With Material Noun:
1. Water is life.
2. Gold is costly.
(b) With Abstract Noun:
1. Intelligence is not inborn.
Note: But if these uncountable nouns are used as Countable Ones, article ‘The’ is
used. If Preposition comes after these uncountable nouns, they are used as countable
1. Kalidas is the Shakespeare of India.
2. The milk in the cup has turned sour.
3. The kindness of mother Teresa was known all over the world.
Rule 3 : Before Collective Nouns (Generally article is not used with collective nouns)
1. Army attacked on enemies.
Rule 4 : Before names of Countries and States except
Example – The U.S.A., the U.S.S.R., the Sudan, the Netherlands, the Congo, the Punjab.
1. The U.S.S.R. has been split into many countries. 2. The Punjab has very high production of wheat.
Rule 5 : With Diseases, Festivals, and Seasons
1. Cholera has been broken out.
2. He is coming on holi.
3. Let us visit Mount Abu in summer.
Rule 6 : Before names of Relations including Cook and Nurse (Father, Mother, Uncle,
1. Cook is in the kitchen.
2. Nurse is very kind.
Rule 7 : Before Meals and Sports.
1. I am late for lunch.
2. He likes watching cricket.
Rule 8 : Before School, College, Church, Temple, Court, Hospital, Market, Bed, etc. if
they are used for their original or main work
1. I am going to college. (to study)
2. I am going to market (for shopping)
Note: But if these places are used only as locations (places) or buildings, other than their main functions, then article is used.
1. The college is at the next crossing.
2. The market is closed today.
Rule 9 : With Proper Noun + Apostrophe’s + Noun; no article is used.
1. This is Pankaj’s house. (not, a/the Pankaj’s house)
2. That was Ram’s mistake (not, a/the Ram’s mistake)
Note: But Article is used with Common Noun + Apostrophe’s +Noun
1. This is a beggar’s cottage. (not, beggar’s cottage)
2. This is an old man’s house. (not, old man’s house)
Rule 10 : With No/Not Any, no article is used but with not article is used.
1. There is no student in the class.
2. There is not any student in the class
3. There is not a student in the class.
Rule 11 : Before Noun (Complement) coming with Elect/ Appoint/ Make/ Crown. (Generally used for Person with Unique Position)
1. He was appointed Branch Manager.
2. He was elected Speaker of the Assembly.
3. He is going to be crowned as King.
Rule 12 : Before Nouns coming with words in pairs.
Example – Father and mother, brother and sister, from door to door, face to face, from
man to man, from village to village.
Example – They are brother and sister.
Rule 13 : With following Phrases, Idiomatic Phrases, Places and Things
(a) To go to school, college, temple, market, bed, hospital, etc.
(b) At school, college, church, office, etc.
(c) At dawn, at night, at noon, all day, all night, at present, at fault, at all, etc.
(d) For sale, for leave, etc.
(e) In bed, in debt, in fact, in trouble, in hand, in favour of, in front of, in opposition to, etc.
(f) Under consideration, under trial, under pressure, etc.
(g) On demand, on trial, on sale, on behalf of, etc.
1. Your demand is under consideration.
2. He has no work in hand.
3. This book is for sale.
4. He is in trouble.