English Tips & tricks on Articles for Banking , SSC, and General Competition Exams

Definition

The adjectives a, an and the are called Articles.

Types of Articles

Articles are basically categorized into two broad categories

A.?Indefinite article?A/An
B.?Definite article?The

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Use of Indefinite Article?A/An

a. An is usually used before a word beginning with a?vowel sound
For example
(i) Radha is an intelligent girl.
(ii) He is an MP. ? ? (sound of ?em?p where e is a vowel)
(iii) You are an honest man. ? ?(sound of ?own?est where o is a vowel)

b. ?A is used before a word beginning with a?consonant sound
For example
(i) He is a university student. ?(sound of ?you?niversal where y is a consonant)
(ii) He is a European. ? ?(sound of ?you?ropean where y is a consonant)
(iii) He is a one-eyed man.

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c. A/An is used before a singular countable noun only when it?is mentioned for the first time representing no
particular person or thing.
For example
(i) He has an oxen.
(ii) She is a landlord.
(iii) A boy came to my home.
d. A/An is used before a singular countable noun which is?used as the representative of a class of things or persons.
For example
(i) A lion is a dangerous animal.
(ii) A pupil should obey his teacher.
(iii) A dog is a faithful animal.

e. A/An is used to make a common noun of a proper noun.
For example
(i) My neighbour is a philanthropist.
(ii) She is a Sania Mirza.
(iii) His brother is a PM.

f. A/An is used in exclamations before singular countable?nouns.
For example
(i) What an interesting video
(ii) What a pretty girl
(iii) What a lovely morning

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g. A/An is used in its original sense of one or any.
For example
(i) He wants a car.
(ii) There are not fourteen inches in a foot.
(iii) He bought a pen.

Use of Definite Article?The

a. when we talk about a particular person or thing or one?already mentioned.
For example
(i) Give me the pen which you bought last Saturday.
(ii) The book you want is out of stock.
(iii) I met a boy. The boy was handsome.

b. when a singular noun represents a whole class.
For example
(i) The rose is a beautiful flower.
(ii) The dog loves comfort.
(iii) The Neem is a useful tree.

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c. Before the first noun in ?noun + preposition + noun??construction.
For example
(i) The Rama?of Ramayana is an ideal king.
(ii) The diamond of South Africa is famous.
(iii) He likes the food of Jaipur.

d. Before names of mountain-ranges.
For example
The Himalayas, The Alps, The Aravallis

e. Before names of groups of islands.
For example
The West Indies,?The Andamans

f. Before names of rivers, oceans, gulfs, deserts and forests.
For example
The Ganges, ?The Nile,?The Amazon, ?The Indian Ocean,?The Gulf of Mexico, The Thar deseert, The
Black Forest

g. Before names of religious and mythological books.
For example
The Ramayana, The Quran, The Bible

h. Before names of newspapers and magazines.
For example
The Times of India, The?Outlook

i. Before names of heavenly bodies, directions and things?unique of their kind
For example
The sun, The earth,?The moon, The?equator

Note that ?The? is not used before the words ?Parliament, Heaven, God, Hell ?.

j. before names of historical buildings, places and events.
For example
The Red Fort, The Taj Mahal, ?The Siachen, The Dandi March

k. Before musical instruments.
For example
(i) He can play the flute.
(ii) She is fond of playing the guitar.

Note that?When musical instruments are used as countable?nouns, A/An is used.
For example
(i) We bought a sitar for her.
(ii) I gifted him a violin.

l. Before religious communities and political parties.
For example
The Hindus, The Sikhs, The Bhartiya Janta Party

m. Before names of ships, aeroplanes and trains.
For example
The INS Vikrant, The?Qatar Airlines,?The Rajdhani?Express

n. Before the words denoting physical positions or
For example
The centre, The top,?The front, The back
Further,??before parts of body
For example
(ii) He pulled the dog by the tail.
(ii)?Sohan?was hit on the head.

o. Before names of government departments and armed?forces.
For example
The Legislative, The Judiciary, The Executive, The Air Force, The Army

p. Before the dates of months.
For example
The 21st of December, The 5th June

Note that before the ordinals, we also use the articles
For example
The first, The third, The ninth

q. before the superlative degree.
For example
(i) He is?the best guy for this job.
(ii) She is the sweetest?girl in the class.

r. Before the names of a few countries that form federations and provinces.
For example
The USA, ?The Netherlands, The USSR, The Republic of China, ?The?Punjab
t. Before comparative degree in case of making a choice between the two.
For example
(i) He?is the tougher of the two guys.
(ii) She?is the prettier of the two.

Zero?Articles

Sometimes there is no need for using any kind of article. Such articles are known as zero articles.?This term used here is not universal but it is aptly used to denote the reference of omission of articles.

The articles a, an, the are omitted
a. Before names of days and months.
For example
(i) She will go on Monday.
(ii) They are getting married in January.

b. Before names of languages.
For example
(i) He cannot speak French.
(ii) She is learning Marathi.

c. Before names of subjects.
For example
(i) She has no interest in mathematics.
(ii) Biology is his favourite subject.

d. Before names of diseases.
For example
(i) AIDS is spreading like wild fire.
(ii) He died of cancer.

Note that??The? is used before the names of a few diseases.
For example
the plague, the measles,the mumps,

e. Before names of festivals and seasons.
For example
(i) He will go to USA?in winter.
(ii) She celebrated Diwali?with her friends.
But note that
(i) He will go to Canada in the winter season.
(ii) She went to Delhi in the Diwali holidays.

f. Before names of sports.
For example
(i) She plays tennis.
(ii) We like cricket.

g. Before names of meals.
For example
(i) They take lunch at 2 pm.
(ii) Breakfast is ready.

h. Before school, college, church, prison, hospital, bed,?market, when these places are visited or used for their
primary purpose.
For example
(i) She goes to temple?on Sunday.
(ii) The criminal was sent to prison.

i. before man, life, death, art, science, when these words?are used in the widest sense.
For example
(i) Science has developed much in the past fifty years.
(ii) Man is mortal.

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