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Usage Of 'Articles' In English Grammar

An article in English grammar is a word that is used before a noun to tell us more about a noun and hence articles are considered adjectives.

Articles are of two types:
  1. Definite articles
  2. Indefinite articles.
Mainly there are three articles in usage in English grammar and these are:
  1. A
  2. An
  3. The.

Indefinite articles

  1. A
  2. an


Indefinite articles are used to tell about a noun in general and are not used for a specific noun. For example: when we want to tell about one book we say a book. Similarly if we want to say about one apple in general we say an apple.. Here the nouns book and apple are general and are not specific.

Rules for using indefinite articles

Rules for using A

  • It is used for the nouns that start with a consonant (other than vowels a e i o u). Example a book, a basket, a house etc.
  • It is also used for nouns that start with a vowel (a e i o u) but the first letter (vowel) is a silent letter and the pronouncation starts with a consonant sound. Example a university (here though u is a vowel yet the first letter of the word sounds like a consonant y hence article a is used and not an.

Rules for using An

  • An is used for nouns that start with a vowel. For example an apple, an orange, an umbrella etc.
  • It is also used for nouns that start with a consonant but the first letter (consonant) is a silent letter and it sounds like a vowel. For example an hour (his a consonant but it is a silent letter and it is pronounced as a, a vowel)
Note that the articles aand anare used for singular nouns only.

Definite articles

When we want to speak of a particular book or a particular apple, then we use the definite article The which specifies about the particular book or the apple. For example The book or The apple when you want to mention of a specific book or thing.