Advanced Grammar rule - Articles
“A, an and the” are called Articles. There are two kinds of articles
(I) Indefinite article—A/An
(II) Definite article—The
Use of Indefinite Article–A/An
The article An is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound. eg,
- She is an intelligent girl.
- He is an MP.
- You are an honest man.
The article A is used before a word beginning with a consonant sound. eg,
- He is a university student.
- He is a European.
- He is a one-eyed man
A/An is used before a singular countable noun when it is mentioned for the first time representing no particular person or thing. eg,
- He has an axe.
- She is a lawyer.
- A boy came to my office.
A/An is used to make a common noun of a proper noun. eg,
- My neighbour is a Daniel.
- She is a Lata Mangeshkar.
- His brother is a Shylock.
A/An is used in exclamations before singular countable nouns. eg,
- What an interesting movie
- What a pretty girl
- What a lovely morning
A/An is used in its original sense of one or any. eg,
- She wants a car.
- There are twelve inches in a foot.
- He bought a book.
Use of Definite Article —The
The definite article The is used when we talk about a particular person or thing or one already mentioned. eg,
- Give me the book which you bought yesterday.
- The dress you want is out of stock.
- I met a girl. The girl was beautiful.
When a singular noun represents a whole class. eg,
- The lotus is a beautiful flower.
- The cat loves comfort.
- The banyan is a useful tree.
Before the first noun in ‘noun + preposition + noun’ construction. eg,
- The Bharat of Ramayana is an ideal brother.
- The gold of India is famous.
- She likes the sweets of Jaipur.
Before names of mountain-ranges. eg,
- The Alps
- The Himalayas
- The Vindhyas
Before names of groups of islands. eg,
- The Andamans
- The Hebrides
- The West Indies
Before names of rivers, oceans, gulfs, deserts and forests. eg,
- The Ganges, The Amazon, The Nile
- The Arabian Sea, The Pacific Ocean, The Indian Ocean, The Persian Gulf, The Gulf of Mexico, The Sahara, The Black Forest
Before names of religious and mythological books. eg,
The Veda, The Ramayana, The Bible
Before names of newspapers and magazines. eg,
The Hindustan Times, the Times of India, the Statesman
Before names of heavenly bodies, directions and things unique of their kind. eg,
The earth, The sun, The moon, The east, The north, The equator
Note: ‘The’ is generally not used before the words ‘Heaven, Hell, God, Parliament’.
Before names of historical buildings, places and events. eg,
The Taj Mahal, The Red Fort, The Pyramids, The Kaba, The Kurukshetra, The French Revolution
Before musical instruments. eg,
- He can play the guitar.
- She is fond of playing on the piano.
Note: When musical instruments are used as countable nouns, A/AN is used. eg,
- We gave her a harmonium.
- I have bought a violin.
Before religious communities and political parties. eg,
The Hindus, The Muslims, The Sikhs, The BJP, The Congress Party, The Janata Dal
Before names of ships, aeroplanes and trains. eg,
The Virat, The Vikrant, The Meghdoot
The Shatabdi Express, The Punjab Mail, The Rajdhani Express
Before the words denoting physical positions. eg,
The top, The bottom, The centre The inside, The front, The back
Before parts of body. eg,
1) He was hit on the head.
2) She pulled the cat by the tail.
3) You caught me by the arm.
Before names of government departments and armed forces. eg,
The Judiciary, The Legislative, The Executive, The Army, The Navy, The Air Force
Before the dates of months. eg,
The 6th February, The 21st of December
Before the superlative degree. eg,
- Honesty is the best policy.
- She is the tallest girl in the class.
- The rose is the sweetest of all flowers.
Before the names of a few countries and provinces. eg,
The USA, The USSR, The Netherlands, The Sudan, The Punjab
Before comparative degree in case of a choice. eg,
- She is the prettier of the two sisters.
- He is the stronger of the two
Before the ordinals. eg, – The first, The third, The ninth
Omission of Articles
The articles a, an, the are omitted
Before names of days and months. eg,
- She will go on Monday.
- They are getting married in January.
Before names of languages. eg,
- He cannot speak French.
- She is learning Marathi.
Before names of subjects. eg,
- She has no interest in mathematics.
- Biology is his favourite subject.
Before names of diseases. eg,
- AIDS is spreading like wild fire.
- He died of cancer.
But ‘The’ is used before the names of a few diseases. eg, the measles, the plague, the gout, the mumps.
Before names of festivals and seasons. Eg,
- He will go to Canada in winter.
- She celebrated Christmas with her friends.
- He will go to Canada during winter.
- She went to Delhi during Diwali holidays.
Before names of sports. eg,
- She plays tennis.
- We like cricket.
Before the names of persons, villages, cities, districts, states and countries. eg,
- Anjali is a beautiful girl.
- London is a big city.
- Paris is the capital of France.
Before names of meals. eg,
- They take lunch at 2 pm.
- Breakfast is ready.
‘A’ is used when there is an adjective before names of meals. We use ‘the’ when we specify. eg,
- We had a late breakfast today.
- The lunch I had at the Rajmahal was nice.
After possessive adjectives (my, our, your, his, her, their, its) and nouns in possessive case (Ram’s, lion’s). eg,
- This is Rahul’s car.
- That is my book.
Before school, college, church, prison, hospital, bed, market, when these places are visited or used for their primary purpose. eg,
- She goes to church on Sunday.
- The criminal was sent to prison.
- I go to bed at 10 pm.
Before man, life, death, art, science, when these words are used in the widest sense. eg,
- Man is mortal.
- Science has developed much in the past fifty years.
Before the nouns used after rank of / title of. eg,
- He was promoted to the rank of Colonel.
- He was given the title of Nawab.