ARTICLES Lesson 5
In this lesson, we are going to learn about Articles in the English language, and the right places to use them.
WHAT IS AN ARTICLE?
It is a word (a, an or the) used before a noun to indicate whether the person, animal or thing we are referring to is specific or non-specific. Articles are of two types – definite or indefinite.
The Indefinite Articles are a, an.
The Definite Article is the.
INDEFINITE ARTICLES – ‘A’ OR ‘AN’
Indefinite Articles indicate that a noun refers to a general idea rather than a particular thing. It is similar to using the number ONE. The indefinite article takes two forms.
We use a when it precedes a word that begins with a consonant sound.
We use an when it precedes a word that begins with a vowel sound.
Now let’s see when/ where to use these Indefinite Articles:
1. A/ AN IS USED WHEN WE DON’T SPECIFY THE THING OR PERSON WE ARE TALKING ABOUT
- I met a (This is the same as saying – I met one friend.)
- I work in a factory in Birmingham.
- I borrowed a pen from a student sitting next to me.
2. ANIS USED BEFORE A VOWEL SOUND
- an engineer
- an elephant
- an athlete
3.‘A’IS USED BEFORE A CONSONANT SOUND
- a dog
- a pilot
- a university
- a union
Note: Although ‘university’ starts with the vowel ‘u’, it is pronounced with a consonant sound – ‘Yu’. The same applies for ‘union’ too.
4.WHEN THERE IS AN ADJECTIVE BEFORE A NOUN
Sometimes an article modifies a noun that is also modified by an adjective. The usual word order is article + adjective + noun. If the article is indefinite, choose a or an based on the word that immediately follows it.
- a small gift
- an interesting story
- an ugly bird
- a grey elephant
FILL IN – WITH ARTICLES (A/ AN):
- ___ girl
- ___ broken egg
- ___ ant
- ___ old ship
- ___ ostrich
- ___ garden
- ___ ice cream
- ___ one-rupee coin
- ___ honest man
- ___ MBA graduate
- ___ X-ray
- ___ university
- ___ unique structure
- ___ hour
DEFINITE ARTICLE – ‘THE’
Now let’s learn where to use the word – the
1.WHEN WE TALK ABOUT SPECIFIC OBJECTS
It’s used when the speaker talks about a specific object that both the person speaking and the listener know.
- The car over there is fast.
- The President of the United States is giving a speech tonight.
2.WHEN WE REPEATEDLY TALK ABOUT AN OBJECT
When we speak of something or someone for the first time we use a or an, the next time we repeat that object we use the definite article the.
- I live in a The house is quite old and has four bedrooms.
- I ate in a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant was very good.
FILL IN – WITH ARTICLES (A/ AN/ THE):
- I had ___ apple for breakfast.
- We are going to see ____ Taj Mahal.
- I saw ___ black swan. ____ swan was really beautiful.
- ____ sky is blue.
- This is ___ new shirt. But that is ___ old one.
- We play in ____ biggest park near our house.
- ___ Qutb Minar is ___ beautiful old monument.
- I love ___ Indian Flag.
- ___ earth is round.
ARTICLES AND PRONOUNS
Possessive pronouns can help identify whether you’re talking about specific or nonspecific items. As we’ve seen, articles also indicate specificity. But if you use both a possessive pronoun and an article at the same time, the sentence is going to becoming confusing.
Possessive pronouns are words like his, my, our, its, her, and their. Articles should not be used with pronouns.
- Why are you reading his diary?
- My pen is in my bag.
ARTICLES WITH COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
Using articles with countable and uncountable nouns may be confusing.
1.A/ AN CAN BE USED ONLY WITH COUNTABLE NOUNS, BECAUSE IT REFERS TO THE NUMBER 1.
- I’d like apiece of cake.
- I lent him a
- I had an ice cream for dessert.
It is unusual to use a/ an for uncountable nouns.
You can’t say – I’d like a milk – because milk cannot be counted.
But you can say – I’d like a packet of milk – because packets can be counted.
2.THE CAN BE USED WITH UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS, OR CAN BE DROPPED ENTIRELY
- He drank the (some specific water – for example, the water his wife brought him from the kitchen) or
- He drank water. (any water)
OMISSION OF ARTICLES
Occasionally, articles are omitted altogether before certain nouns. In these cases, the article is implied but not actually present.
1.ARTICLES ARE OMITTED WHEN THE NOUNS REFER TO ABSTRACT IDEAS
- Cleanliness is next to godliness.
- Creativity is necessary for one’s mind.
2.COUNTRIES, STATES, SPORTS AND ACADEMIC SUBJECTS ARE NOT PRECEDED BY AN ARTICLE
- She lives in Colombo.
- He studied Math.
- I love baseball.
3.USUALLY PLURALS AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS DO NOT HAVE ARTICLES PRECEDING THEM
- He reads novels.
- Do you want coffee?
- He loves Indian food.
There are a few exceptions to the general rule of using a before words that start with consonants and an before words that begin with vowels.
The first letter of the word honest, for example, is a consonant, but the ‘h’ is silent. In spite of its spelling, it is pronounced with a vowel sound as “on-est”, rather than “hon-est”. Therefore, we use an.
- My father is an honest man.
- She is a US citizen.
- This is a URL link to that website.
FILL IN – WITH ARTICLES (A/ AN/ THE):
This is Gopal’s room. It is ___ small room. It has ___ chair and ___ study table. It has blue curtains on ___ windows. ___ bedcover is also blue.
Gopal’s room is not clean. His school-bag is on ___ floor. His books are lying on ___ bed. One shoe is on ___ chair. Where is ___ other shoe?
Gopal has many toys. He has ___ aeroplane and ___ teddy. Gopal has ___ toy car too.
TODAY’S TONGUE TWISTER
Betty Botter bought some butter
But she said the butter’s bitter
If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter
But a bit of better butter will make my batter better
So ‘twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter
Everyone wants to feel appreciated. For many, appreciation is just saying, “Thank you”. But appreciation only begins with saying thanks. True appreciation is not only recognizing someone’s excellent efforts and contribution. The term actually means “to recognize and enjoy” a person’s value or good qualities.
It means showing respect and understanding as well as gratitude. Business thrives on appreciation. Here are simple ways you can show real appreciation for others and make their day a bit better.
1.GENERAL APPRECIATION PHRASES
- Well done!
And many more…….
2. APPRECIATING SOMEONE FOR THEIR EFFORT
- Great effort!
- Getting better all the time!
- You’ve improved!
- You can do it!
- The time you put in really shows!
- You tried hard!
And many more…….
3.APPRECIATING SOMEONE FOR THEIR TIMELY HELP
- You’re so kind!
- You’re a champ!
- You’re my angel!
- Your help counts!
- You made it happen!
And many more…….
4.APPRECIATING A JOB DONE WELL
- A+ work!
- Unbelievable work!
- Spectacular work!
- How artistic!
And many more…….
Dad: Grace dear! Thank you for your help.
Grace: Dad, I love to help.
Dad: I know. You are my angel!
Grace: Thank you.
Dad : And wow! You are doing a great job! These are really sparkling clean. Mom is going to love this!
Grace: Thank you, dad.
Sarah: Good morning, Chief.
Chief: Good morning, Sarah. Have you…
Sarah: Sir, Your presentation is ready.
Chief: Great. Let me see!
Sarah: Hope it’s all accurate and you like it.
Chief: (checks the file, and finds the job really good.) Wow! This is remarkable! This new feature that you’ve added here is a great idea!
Sarah: Thank you Sir.
Chief: Sarah! This is a splendid presentation! Good job!
Tracy: Hey girls! I am planning a trip for us, this summer!
Jackie: Wow. That’s a great idea.
Tracy: I am planning to take you girls to my favourite resort for a week’s stay.
Pamela: Oh my! That’s so nice of you.
Tracy: I have also invited some of our college friends..
Frany: That is really superb! It’s going to be fun.
Pamela: Thank you Tracy! I’ve always loved a school reunion. And you are making it happen!
Tracy: Oh! I thought you wouldn’t like it!
Jackie: No no, no! We love it.
Pamela: Yes, we do. This is a really great plan.
Frany: So when are we leaving??
truck, cattle, clone, couple, cyclops, bribes, badges, beagles, beautifies, climb, logically, honour, calm, acquire, acquit, blackguard, gnash, gnaw, cap, ice, cub, cupid, peace, pelvic, cyclonic, stage, badge, germ, gap, goitre, big, bag, bug, stag, tug, tag, game, truck, crib, receive, dumb, folk, salmon, talk, parliament, honest, herb, rhyme, Wednesday, hubs, hives, staves, tools, boys, fools, doubt, blackguard, Chevrolet, aisle, depot, listen, diaphragm, champagne, corps, coup, cupboard, plaque, island, debris, vegetable, autumn, chimney pneumonia, connecticut, toys, heroines, stories, niece, drastic, house, brush, ration, topic, custom, cinema, certificate, clay, finger, bring, hanger, cupid, peace, dictation, capture, tall, friction, pelvic, club, track, century, fables, rays, hopes, various, studious, ratio, vulture, taste, toys, tremble, courage
BUILDING A CONVERSATION
John is a very good employee in your firm.
He has taken great efforts to improve his skills at the job. Try to appreciate him for his efforts.
FILL IN – WITH ARTICLES WHEREVER NECESSARY:
- I like ___ blue T-shirt over there better than ___ red one.
- Their car does 150 miles ___ hour.
- Do you still live in ___ Bangalore?
- Where is ___ USB drive I lent you last week?
- Chitra’s father works as ___ electrician.
- ___ tomatoes cost around 15 rupees ___ kilo.
- What do you usually have for ___ breakfast?
- Is your mother working in ___ old building opposite Phoenix Mall?
- Bharath has ___ terrible headache.
- After this tour, you will have ___ whole afternoon free to explore ___ city.
- ___ babies cry.
- What ___ nonsense!
- He went to ___ UK.
- She loves to play ___ guitar.
- He is ___ tall boy but she is ___ tallest girl in the class.
TOPICS TO DISCUSS
- In how many places have you lived? Describe each place briefly.
- Describe your current home in detail. Is it a house, villa or an apartment? How many rooms are there? Are they large or small?
- Do you like to keep your home clean or is it messy? Which room tends to get more messy than the others? Why? Which room is cleanest and why?