Articles ‘A’ ‘AN’ ‘THE’

Articles A AN THE

Articles a, an, and the are used with nouns. The articles a and an are used before singular countable nouns. The article the is used before countable and uncountable, singular and plural nouns.

Countable Nouns are nouns we can count. They are nouns that take the plural form.


  • Pen – pens
  • Boy – boys
  • Hour – hours
  • University – universities

Uncountable Nouns are nouns we cannot count. They do not take the plural form.


  • Bread
  • Coffee
  • Money

A/an (the indefinite articles)

The form a is used before singular words beginning with a consonant or a vowel with a consonant sound:

  • A pen
  • A boy
  • A hat
  • A one-man show (o here is a consonant sound)
  • A university (u here is a consonant sound)

The form an is used before singular nouns beginning with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) or a silent h:

  • An apple
  • An intelligent boy
  • An egg
  • An onion
  • An hour (h is a silent letter. It is written but not pronounced.)

We use the indefinite articles A and AN:

1. There are several things, but I want only one of them, not a definite one:

  • Could you give me a pen (any pen)?
  • I need a cup of flour.

2. Professions and trades:

  • Bob is a teacher.
  • Lina is an actress.

3. With some fixed expressions:

  • She has a lot of friends.
  • He uses a large amount of space.
  • I need a few more plates.
  • Can I have more tea, please?
  • I go to school once a day.

4. The first reference to something or someone:

  • I met a boy and a girl in the street. The boy was wearing a jacket, and the girl was wearing a skirt.

5. Classification of objects and people:

  • A cat is an animal.
  • An ape is a monkey.
  • A house is a building.

6. After what and such (to express exclamation):

  • What a gentle boy!
  • She is such a talkative person!
  • It is such an exciting topic!

The (the definite article)

The definite article THE is used with countable nouns, singular and plural, and uncountable nouns.


  • The apples
  • The eggs
  • The students

We use the indefinite article THE:

1. When referring to a person or an object already referred to:

  • I met a boy and a girl in the street. The boy was wearing a jacket, and the girl was wearing a skirt.

2. Names of hotels:

  • The Maamoura hotel
  • The Hilton Hotel

3. Names of oceans, seas, rivers, and mountains:

  • The Atlantic Ocean
  • The Mediterranean Sea
  • The River Sebou
  • The Atlas Mountains

4. Reference to a specific category of people:

  • The homeless.
  • The jobless.
  • The sick.
  • The rich.

5. Reference to unique things:

  • The sun is shining.
  • The earth is not flat.

6. Names of some countries:

  • The United States
  • The Netherlands
  • The Philippines

7. Names of newspapers:

  • The Daily Express
  • The Sunday Times

8. Names of organizations:

  • The United Nations
  • The British Council

9. With superlatives:

  • Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco.
  • He’s the most careful person I’ve ever known.

10. Reference to the nation as a whole:

  • The English are cold-blooded.
  • The French


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here