4th Class English Articles-395 Articles


Category : 4th Class

Real Life Example

An article is a kind of adjective which is always used with and gives some information about a noun. There are only two articles and the, but they are used very often and are important for using English accurately.  


This lesson will help you to:

  • learn about different types of articles.
  • correctly use the articles.  



An article is a word (or prefix or suffix) that is used with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. Articles specify the grammatical definiteness of the noun, in some languages extending to volume or numerical scope. The articles in the English language are 'the? and 'a/an'.

In languages that employ articles, every common noun, with some exceptions, is expressed with a certain definiteness (e.g., definite or indefinite), just as many languages express every noun with a certain grammatical number (e.g., singular or plural). Every noun must be accompanied by the article, if any, corresponding to its definiteness and the lack of an article (considered a zero article) itself specifies certain definiteness. Articles are usually characterized as either definite or indefinite.


A definite article indicates that its noun is a particular one (or ones) identifiable to the listener. It may be something that the speaker has already mentioned, or it may be something uniquely specified. The definite article in English, for both singular and plural nouns, is 'the?.

The park close to my house is large.


1. When we speak about a particular thing or a restatement. Example: There is a garden next to my house. The garden has many swings.

2. When we speak about the unique things. Example: The sun, the stars.

3. When we speak about:

(a) Rivers: The Ganga, The Yamuna.

(b) Sea: The Dead Sea, The Caspian Sea.

(c) Mountain Ranges: The Himalayas, the Andes.

(d) Group of islands: The Andaman Nicobar islands, The Lakshwadeep islands.

(e) Oceans: The Pacific Ocean.

(f) Countries which have united, republic or kingdom in their names- The USSR, The UK.

4. When there is superlative degree- This is the best we can do.

5. When ordinal numbers are used- The fourth chapter.

6. With musical instruments- the guitar, the flute.

7. When we speak about religious books - The Ramayana, The Quaran.

8. When we speak about historical monuments - The Taj Mahal.

9. With newspapers- The times of India.

10. When we speak about a system or service- How long does it take on the train?

I heard it on the radio.



An indefinite article indicates that its noun is not a particular one (or ones) identifiable to the listener. The choice of putting a/an depends on the sound of the vowel.

We put 'a? with the nouns which have a consonant sound. A one rupee note. (since the sound is ?V? when we are saying one, A University, (since the sound is Y) We put 'an' with the nouns when the sound is of vowels- a, e, I, o, u.


Misconcept / Concept

Misconcept: we use article an with vowels.

Concept: The choice between a/an depends on the sound of the vowel and not the letter we can see, words like useful, one, European begin with a vowel but instead of the article an, we use the crticle a before them as they do not begin with a vowel sound so we say, a useful book, a one rupee note and a European tourist.


We use Indefinite article when

1. We use the indefinite article, a/an, with count nouns when the hearer/reader does not know exactly which one we are referring to: Example: There is a girl standing there.

2. We use a/an to say what someone is or what job they do: Example: My sister is a doctor.

3. We use a/an with a singular noun to say something about all things of that kind: Example: A man needs friends. (= All men need friends)

4. We put 'a? with year.

5. We put ?a? with abbreviated names of degree. Example: a M. A., a B. A.  



The zero article is the absence of an article. In languages having a definite article, the lack of an article specifically indicates that the noun is indefinite. Linguists interested in X-bar theory causally link zero articles to nouns lacking a determiner. [8] In English, the zero article rather than the indefinite is used with plurals and mass nouns, although the word "some" can be used as an indefinite plural article. Eg Visitors end up walking in mud.  



Omission of Articles:

1. Do not use any article before the names of countries, person, months and specific places. Examples: Japan, Saleem, Gandhiji, Anna Salai, March, Friday, Christmas.

2. Do not use any article before the names of metals. Examples: Iron and coal are found in England. Gold is very costly.

3. Do not use any article before the names of languages. Examples: Hindi is a difficult language. We are studying Arabic.

4. Do not use any article before the abstract nouns. Examples: Truth prevails. Knowledge is power. Love is God. Honesty is the best policy. Poverty is the worst crisis. Wisdom will win. Absence is not tolerated. Strength never fails. Wisdom is the gift of heaven. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

5. Do not use any article before the names of games. Examples: I play tennis. They play football. Baseball is famous in USA. Chess is played by intelligent people.

6. Do not use any article before the names of relatives. Examples: Father has gone out. Aunt wants you to see her. Mother is the symbol of love. Sister means affection.

7. We don't use any article before names of continents and countries. Examples: Asia, Norway, Sri Lanka, Note: We use the, before the names of countries or States which include words like republic, union, kingdom, states. Examples: The United Kingdom, The United States of America

8. When we want to mentions about the buildings which are for School, hospital, court, church, prison, market, etc., we the. Examples: The injured man was taken to hospital. The Minister visited the hospital. The murderer was sent to prison. The Wall of the prison must be very high.

9.  Do not use any article before the names of foods and festivals. Examples: Breakfast is at eight o'clock. He takes sugar with his tea. We celebrate Holy in the month of March.  



A game you can play to master articles! Write 20 different nouns or adjective-noun pairs beginning with vowels and consonants on separate chits of paper. The word aloud along with the article that should Go with it. Points are scored on the basis of right answers and the time taken to say the word which should not be more than 3 seconds. The words can be cock, blanket, engine, old story, haunted house, best speaker, moon, earth, duck, Bible, year, sweetest fruit, etc.

Other Topics

Notes - Articles

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