ARTICLES IN ENGLISH
There are three articles in English (A, AN, and THE), which are divided into two categories.
1. DEFINITE ARTICLES
2. INDEFINTE ARTICLES
‘THE’ comes under the category of definite articles.
Whereas “A and AN” fall under the category of indefinite articles.
RULES FOR USING THEM:
a. A is used before a noun which starts with consonant sound.
b. AN is used before a noun which starts with vowel sound.
The rule is only applicable for singular nouns.
e.g., A car, a teacher, a doctor, a university
An apple, an owl, an hour, an MBA
In the given examples University starts with a vowel but we use ‘A’ before it because the sound starts with consonant.
Same is with the examples of an hour and an MBA, although both the words start with consonants the sound start with vowels that’s why we use ‘AN’ before them.
A/AN are used only with countable and singular nouns not with uncountable and plural nouns.
E.g., An anger X anger (uncountable noun)
A teachers X teachers(plural)
An advice X a piece of advice (uncountable noun)
a. A/AN is used for the person or thing which is unspecific.
b. THE is used for the person or thing which is specific i.e., for particular person or thing.
e.g., I want to purchase a car. (unspecific)
I want to purchase the car that we checked last week. (specific)
Yesterday, I had dinner at a restaurant. (unspecific)
Yesterday, I had dinner at the restaurant, we dinned in last Friday. (specific)
A/AN is used to mention the category or type of a person or thing.
e.g., I am a doctor.
Person’s profession is a type of category.
He is an intelligent man.
No article is used under these conditions.
a. With proper noun: before the Name of a person or place
e.g., A/THE Priya X Priya (name)
THE Meerut X Meerut (place)
Although some places and names like THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICA and THE UNITED KINGDOM, THE HIMALAYAS are used as they are.
b. Name of games and language
e.g., a/the badminton X Badminton
a/the hockey X Hockey
The Spanish X Spanish
The Hindi X Hindi
Note: Sometimes we use THE before ENGLISH, THE ENGLISH doesn’t mean English language but it means the people who live in ENGLAND.