Articles: Types and uses of articles, Definite article
Posted on : 07-08-2018 Posted by : Admin

Introduction to Articles and their use

“A”, “An” and “The” are called articles. Articles are special group of adjectives which point to nouns appearing immediately after them. Articles always appear in front of the nouns. The articles limit or define the use of nouns in the context of the sentence in other words they impart accuracy and effectiveness to the nouns in a sentence.

For example,

  1. Meera wore a sari for the party.
  2. The letter is lying on the table.
  3. Eat an apple after your lunch.

In sentence no. 1, the article “a” modifies the noun “sari” and makes it a general item.

In sentence no. 2, the article “the” modifies the noun “letter” and makes it a specific item.

In sentence no. 3, the article “an” modifies the noun “apple” and makes it a general item.

*Special case: Articles can also be used before an adjective if the adjective is followed by a noun.

For example,

  • Parrot is a beautiful bird.
  • Mary is an intelligent girl.
  • The Scenic beauty of nature is a soothing one.

In all the above examples, the articles (given in blue color) come in front of the adjectives.


Types of articles

There are two types of articles,

  1. Definite article (The)
  2. Indefinite article (A, An)


Definite articles (The)

Definite article “The” is always points to a specific person or a thing within a group. The definite article “the” can be used before both singular and plural nouns.

The following are some rules to use the definite article “the”

Rule 1: It is used to refer to specific persons, places and things.

Example: See the painting on the wall. (Specific painting and specific wall)

The man in the black suit is the CEO (Specific Man and Specific color of the dress)

Rule 2: It is used to refer a single noun when it is mean for the whole class of item.

Example:The Rose smells sweet. (Refers to whole class of roses)

The cow is a very useful animal. (Refers to whole class of cows)

Rule 3: It is used before a common noun which is unique.

Example:The sun, the Air, the environment, the moon

Rule 4: It is used with the names of rivers, canals, gulfs, straits, oceans, seas, groups of island, deserts, bays etc.

Example: The Ganga, the Nile, the Arabian sea, the Bay of Bengal, the Suez Canal, the Andaman islands, the Kalahari desert

Rule 5: It is used before the places which have derived their names from the geographical, Historical or political factors.

Example: The Punjab, the Deccan Plateau, the USA, the United Kingdom

Rule 6: It is used before the names of epics and historical books.

Example: The Gita, the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas

Rule 7: It is used before the adjectives of comparative degree in certain sentence types.

Example: The more you study, the more you score; the higher you go, the cooler it is

Rule 8: It is used in front of the names of the news paper, magazine, fortnightlies, weeklies etc.

Example: The Hindu, The times of India, The Frontline

Rule 9: It is used before the adjectives of the superlative degree. Here the article “The” specifies that the adjective is superlative and there is nothing more than that.

Example: This is the best book on zoology I have ever read.

Ramya is the most intelligent student.

Rule 10: It is used before the adjective which is used as the plural noun and stands for a whole class or section or group.

Example: The Educated must help the illiterate.

We should think of the welfare of the women.

Rule 11: It is used before numbers indicating order or position.

Example: He was the first boy in the class.

 You are the last person to wish me.

Rule 12: It is used before the adjectives of comparative degree when one of the two is referred to.

Example: Raju is the most intelligent of all the boys of the class.

Rule 13: It is used before a proper noun when it is used as a common noun to indicate some special quality associated with that proper noun.

Example: Martin Luther King was described as the Gandhi of America.

Rule 14: It is used before the name of a community, nation or race.

Example: The Jews, the Hindus, the Muslims etc.

Rule 15: It is used before a common noun to give it a sense of an abstract noun.

Example: The father in him could not stop.

Rule 16: It is used before a noun to give it force or emphasis

Example: Philosophy is the subject to study.

Susmitha is the beauty with brain.

Rule 17: It is sued before a material noun when it is used as a common noun.

Example: The rice of Tamil Nadu is superior to that of the Punjab.

Rule 18: It is used before a proper noun if it is modified by an adjective.

Example: The man of the match, the stylish actor, the super star


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