Articles A, An The English grammar tutorial tutorial lesson
Welcome to English Grammar Spot! This lesson is about ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’. Otherwise known as articles. Take a look at the following sentences The man walked right past me. A giant spider crawled across the ceiling. An elephant is a large animal. All the underlined words here are articles. First I am going to show you how and when to use ‘a’. We use ‘a’ before a word that starts with a constant for example B, C, D F, G, H, J , K, L, M N, P. Q, R, S, T.
V, W, X, Y, Z. For example A blue bird. A nice man. A wonderful dinner. Here blue, nice and wonderful all start with consonants. Now I’m going to show you how and when to use ‘an’.We use ‘an’ before a word that starts with a vowel. and the vowels in the English language are A, E I, O, U. For example an apple an egg, an insect. Now there are some exceptions. The use of ‘a’ or ‘an’ depends on the beginning sound so the word might start with a consonant or a vowel,.
But we really need to listen to how the word it is pronounced. For example hour. We see ‘H’ but we hear a vowel sound at the beginning ‘our’ and ‘hour’. So what do we do in this case We use the article ‘an.’ Because we hear a vowel sound. So we say an hour and not a hour. Another exception the use of ‘a’ and ‘an’ depends on the beginning sound unique. We see a ‘U’ but we hear a consonant sound ‘you’. So what to do we do we do here.
A unique chance and not an unique chance. So remember, you have to listen carefully to how the word is pronounced and then you choose whether you use ‘a’ or ‘an’. Now we need to talk about the indefinite and the definite article. We already talked about ‘a’ and ‘an’. but we also need to talk about ‘the’. ‘A’ and ‘an’ are indefinite articles. they are used to describe one or a number of things, but that also goes for ‘the’. But here ‘the’ is the definite article. and and its use to describe one or number of things.
So what is the difference The indefinite article describes things in general. For instance a dog barks. Because that is what dogs do. Or a cat ‘miaauws’ The definite article describes specific things. For example when we say the dog barks, we have a particular dog in mind. For instance the dog of your neighbours or a dog that we see in the street. Now there is also something that we call the ‘zero article’. Here we do not use an article at all whereas in other languages we might. Sometimes an article is left out.
This happens when there’s only one of someone or something. For example Sally is head teacher there’s only one head teacher in school and perhaps most important in this but the second is Queen of the United Kingdom there’s only one queen in England. Sometimes the is left out. When talking about seasons in general spring is in the air, not the spring is in the air but when we talk about a general season we use ‘the.’ I visited her in in the spring of 2012. Here I have a particular moment in mind.
Again sometimes ‘the’ is left out, for instance when talking about meals in general. When shall we have lunch I was very happy with the lunch she served. And again here we use ‘the’ because we have a specific lunch in mind. We also do not use an article when talking about church, hospital, prison , school, university in general. So ‘the’ is left out, only when we talk about the function of the building For instance, he went to university last year. So here we do not have a particular.