Introduction to Articles (Basic)

English

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What are Articles in English Grammar?

Articles are used before nouns to indicate whether the noun is specific or general.
'a', 'an' and 'the' are articles. Consider the following examples:
Example 1:
"I need a chair."
In the sentence above, you find the article 'a'. It shows us that the speaker doesn't need a specific chair. He can have any chair.
Example 2:
"I want to eat an orange."
In the sentence above, you find the article 'an'. It shows us that the speaker doesn't want a specific orange. He can have any orange. 
Example 3:
"I want the blue marker."
In the sentence above, we find the article 'the'. It shows us that the speaker wants a specific blue marker. 
In English, there are two types of articles- Definite and Indefinite Articles. 

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The Article 'A'

The article 'a' is an indefinite article because it does not point to a particular person or thing, but to any person or thing. The article 'a' is used before any noun beginning with a consonant or with the sound of a consonant.
For example:
  1. "a lion" (i.e. any lion)
  2. "a university" (though the word begins with a vowel, the sound is that of a consonant, yu)

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The Article 'An'

The article 'an' is an indefinite article. It does not point to a particular noun, but to any noun. It is used before nouns beginning with a vowel sound.
For example:
  1. "an apple"
  2. "an honest man"

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The Article 'The'

The article 'the' is a definite article because it usually points to a particular person or thing.
For example:
  1. "He visited the teacher" (i.e a particular teacher)

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Identifying the Appropriate Article

Questions that ask you to identify which article goes before a noun, tests you on which definite or indefinite article goes before a noun, or whether the article before the noun should be omitted.