Articles are used before nouns to define their use in the context of the sentence. There are two kinds of articles.
- Indefinite articles: a, an
- Definite articles: the
Indefinite articles are used:
- A is used before singular, countable nouns which begin with consonant sounds.
Ex: He is a lawyer
- A is used before words such as ‘’European’’ or ‘’university’’ where the initial vowel is pronounced like consonant. Remember, it is the sound and not the spelling which is important.
Ex: She has a one-rupee coin.
- An is used before singular countable nouns which begin with vowel sounds.
Ex: He is an actor
- An is used before a word beginning with a silent /h/.
Ex: He was late by an hour.
Definite article is used:
- The is used when talking about something which is already known to the listener or which has been already mentioned, introduced, or discussed.
Ex: I have a pen. The pen in blue.
- The is used before the names of oceans, seas, coasts, rivers, mountains ranges, groups of islands, planets, gulf, newspaper, magazines, musical instruments, directions, deserts, names of trains, hotels, holy books, ordinal numbers and superlative degrees.
Ex: While waiting for a ferry to take him cross the Godavari, Amit read the Times of India and listened to Gita practice the sitar.
- The is used before proper nouns for the sake ofcomparison.
Ex: kalidas was regarded as the Shakespeare of India