The Adjectives, 'a', 'an', and 'the' are usually called 'Articles'.  They are really Demonstrative Adjectives.

There are two articles:
  1. Indefinite Articles 'a' or 'an'
  2. Definite Article 'the'
As a general rule, a Common Noun in the singular number must have an article.
  • Arjun fought like a hero.
  • I saw an elephant yesterday.
  • The mango tree.
Definite Article points out some particular person or thing.
  • This is the camera you gave me.
Indefinite Article points out any person or thing -  a tree, an orange.

If a noun begins with a consonant sound, 'a' is used before that -  a boy, a woman, a horse.  If a noun begins with a vowel sound, 'an' is used before that - an hour, an umbrella, an enemy.

With vowels having the sound of 'you', 'a' is used before them.
  • a useless person, a European, a utensil, a uniform, a university........
In some words O soubds like 'wa', 'a' is used before them.
  • a one-rupee note, a one-way, a one-eyed giant, such a one.

The Definite Article is used

1. When we refer to some particular person or thing:
  • The house I have just bought is spacious.
2. When a singular noun is used to indicate a whole class:
  • The cow is a useful animal.
3. Before oceans, seas, gulfs and bays:
  • The Indian Ocean, The Red Sea, The Bay of Bengal, The Persian Gulf.
4. Before names of rivers, ranges of mountains and group of islands:
  • The Ganges, The Thames, The Indus, The Himalayas, The Alps.
5. Before an individual mountain no article is used:
  • Mount Everest, Mount Don Bosco.
6. Before names of some countries and some Provinces in India:
  • The U.S.A., The U.K., the Deccan.
7. Before names of certain well-known books:
  • The Bible, The Vedas, The Koran.
8. Before adjectives in the Superlative Degree:
  • May is the hottest month in India.
9. When double comparatives of an adverb are used:
  • The higher you go, the colder it becomes.
10. Before an adjective used as a noun:
  • The poor depend on the rich.
11. Before the names of ships, trains, aeroplanes, hotels, theatres and clubs:
  • The Nilgris Express, The Taj Hotel, The Lions Club
 The Article is Omitted before

1. Proper Nouns - i.e. Names of Countries, Towns, Persons, Mountain Peaks, Streets, Months, Days of      the Week.
  • Japan, Salem, Gandhiji, Yellagri, Anna Salai, March, Friday.
2. Material Nouns, Abstract Nouns, Branches of Arts and Sciences, Universities, and Festivals such as:
  • Iron, Truth, Drawing, Chemistry, Madurai Kamaraj University, Pongal.
Repetition of the Article

When two or more adjectives qualify the same noun, the Article is used before the first adjective only; but when they qualify different nouns, expressed or understood, the Article is used before each adjective.
  • You have a white, strong, obedient and beautiful horse.
  • He has a black and a brown dog.


Use the correct article: "a" or "an" or "the" wherever necessary:
Example: I like_______oranges.     I like oranges.
Example: I want_______orange.      I want an orange.

1. I have (1)_______book.  (2)_______book is really interesting.
2. My pen is on (3)________table.
3. I am (4)________teacher.
4. (5)________teacher at my school is really nice.
5. What is it? It's (6)________elephant.
6. welive in (7)________town.
7. I have (8)________piece of bread and (9)________ice cream for lunch.
8. A chick is (10)________baby chicken.

Answers: 1. a  2. The  3. the  4. a  5. The  6. an  7. a  8. a  9. an  10. a


Use the correct article: "a" or "an" or "the" wherever necessary:

1. Do you want (11)________drink?
2. (12)_________writer writes books.
3. (13)_________artist paints pictures.
4. Do you like to have (14)_________apple?
5. Let's go to (15)________department store.
6. I like to watch (16)_______movie.
7. I like to listen to (17)________radio.
8. He is (18)________artist and (19)_________mathematician.
9. I'm sick, I need to see (20)________doctor.

Answers: 11. a  12.A  13. An  14. an  15.the  16. a  17. the  18. an  19. a  20. the

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