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Diploma Engineering Sem I
I M KHAN
(Asst. Prof. in English)
What is Article?
Article can be taken as one of the ‘Determiners’ or
a subclass of the Determiners which determines
noun. They are also known as Demonstrative
It is often taken to be a separate part of speech also.
What is Article?
There are two articles in English, the definite article
the (the book) and the indefinite article a (a book) or
an (an eye).
Sometimes nouns require no article at all. This is
called the ‘zero article’ (book, eyes). The articles are a
subclass of the determiners.
Please note that it is pronunciation, not the spelling, of
the word that determines the choice of indefinite
What is Determiner?
• Determiners are words placed in front of nouns
to clarify what the noun refers to. It is used to
indicate the exactness of a noun. (1)
• Determiners are the words which specify the
range of reference of a noun e.g by making it
definite (the book), indefinite (a book), or by
indicating quantity (many books)….. (2)
Kinds of Articles
In English language, there are total three articles. (A, An
and The). These three articles are divided into two
1. Definite: The (is used to refer any particular person,
place or thing.)
2. Indefinite: A & An (does not refer particular noun)
‘A’ and ‘An’ are the two indefinite articles. ‘A’ or ‘An’
means ‘one’or ‘anyone’
When the countable noun is one / singular in number, it
takes ‘a’ or ‘an’ as an article (depending on its first letter
Indefinite articles (a / an) are used with several
countable nouns in different conditions.
What is Noun?
Noun is a name given to
any person, place, thing,
animal, thought / idea or
Nouns are divided into
Articles and Nouns
Mostly articles are used only with countable nouns
which can be counted in number. Rest nouns take
a book but a water
a boy but a sugar
a computer but an air
a teacher but a teaching
The Selection of Articles (a / an)
• Indefinite articles ‘a’ or ‘an’ are not used
• There are definite rules to use these indefinite
articles and these rules are strictly followed while
speaking or writing English.
• It is important to note that if articles are not used
appropriately, the meaning may change or be
• Therefore, it is must to understand and follow
these rules to learn correct English.
‘a’ is used before a word (or a countable noun)
beginning with a consonant sound.
a young man
‘an’ is used with a word beginning with a vowel
an elephant, an egg,
an ink-pot, an idiot
an orange, an orphan,
‘an’ is used before a word beginning with a
consonant letter but a vowel sound.
an honest man
an honorable guest
‘a’ is used before a word beginning with a vowel
letter but a consonant sound.
begin with consonant
letter but their
pronunciation beings with
vowel take ‘an’article
an M.Sc. / MBBS
an M.Com. / M.Phil.
A word beginning with ‘vowel’ letter but
‘consonant’ sound /w/ takes ‘a’ as an article.
a one rupee note
a one eyed man
a one dollar note
a one way ticket
a one legged man
If the noun is modified by
an adjective, the choice
between a and an
depends on the initial
sound of the adjective
that immediately follows
a broken egg
an unusual problem
a European country
In English, the indefinite articles ‘a’ or ‘an’ are used
to indicate membership in a group.
I am a teacher. (I am a member of a large group
known as teachers.)
Brian is an Irishman. (Brian is a member of the
people known as Irish.)
Indefinite articles ‘a’ and ‘an’ are used in the sense
of one of many.
I met a friend. (means one of certain friends)
I read a novel. (means one of certain novels)
‘a’ or ‘an’ is used to show the whole class in the
sense of ‘all’ or ‘any’
A student should be obedient. (any student / all
A doctor must love his patient. (any doctor / all
‘a’ is used with words like ‘little’ and ‘few’
a little milk (uncountable noun)
a few students (countable noun)
‘a’ or ‘an’ is used in the sense of ‘every’
2,000 a month (means 2,000 every month)
10 rupees a dozen
5 rupees a kilo
5 times a year
80 km an hour
‘a’ or ‘an’ is used in an exclamatory sentence before
What a beautiful flower!
What a pretty girl!
What a shameful act!
What a hot day!
What an idea sir ji!
Indefinite article ‘a’ is
commonly used with
Those are as below.
half a dozen
a lot of
a great deal of
a great number of
Indefinite ‘a’ or ‘an’ article is used to convert proper
noun into a common noun.
He is a Gandhi. (a great political leader)
She is a Mother Teresa. (a great social worker)
He is an Amitabh Bachchan. (a famous actor)
1. Almas Juneja, Vaseem Qureshi. "Active English." New
Delhi: Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2013. 30.
2. Geoffrey Leech, Jan Svartvik. "A Communicative
Grammar of English." South Asia: Pearson Education
Ltd., 2009. 249-250, 280-281.
3. Murthy, Jayanthi Dakshina. Contemporay English
Grammar. New Delhi: Book Palace, 2013.
Imran Khan M
still a learner