Grammar for IELTS Material : A, An, The (Part 1)
- 1 Grammar for IELTS: A, An, The (Part 1)
Grammar for IELTS: A, An, The (Part 1)
There are two kinds of articles in English :
- indefinite (a, an)
- definite (the).
They occur before
- nouns (the book)
- adjective + noun combinations (a big book).
Having good grammar is essential to get a high band score for IELTS Examination, especially in the speaking and writing sections. Correct and proper grammar is one of the factors on which you will be assessed on during your IELTS speaking and writing tests.
Check Your Grammar
Choose the right article:
I’d been living in the / a / None dormitory for two years and hadn’t had to buy my own food for the / a / None whole time. Then, I moved into the / a / None apartment where I needed to buy the / a / None food for myself. I went to the / a / None grocery store and put everything into the / a / None cart. When I went to pay, I found that the / a / None juice I had chosen cost $1.50, the / a / None meat $7.80, the / a / None bread $1.25, and the / a / None butter $2.00.
If you can’t do the exercise, please go through our lesson about articles.
“A” and “An” are called indefinite articles because they usually don’t identify any particular person or thing.
- A musician, meaning any musician.
“The” is called the definite article because it refers to some specific thing.
- The musician (meaning some particular musician).
This chart gives you the basic uses of articles in English
|Usage of Articles|
|Indefinite articles (a, an)||Singular Countable Noun||Plural Countable Nouns||Uncountable nouns|
|Indefinite articles (a, an)||An elephant||Elephants||Water|
|Definite article (the)||The book||The books||The milk|
How to Differentiate the Usage ‘A’ and ‘An’ by Sound?
|Indefinite Articles (‘a’ and ‘an’)|
|Vowel sound||An enemy, An umbrella|
|Vowel sound where
consonant sound ‘h’ is silent
|Consonant sound||A reindeer|
|Consonant sound (Yu)||A University|
|Consonant sound (w)||A one-rupee coin|
When to Use ‘The’?
|Definite Article (‘The’)|
|Reference to a specific object||
|Singular noun representing a whole class||
|Before proper nouns||
|Before names of things unique of their kind||
|Before proper noun when it is qualified by
|Before an ordinal||
Three Rules for Avoiding Common Article Mistakes
The following three rules are grouped here because they are the main rules that will help you avoid the most common mistakes with articles.
Use a, an (or another word such as my or this) with singular countable nouns.
- Incorrect: Most university students own computer.
- Correct: Most university students own a computer.
Use the with specific noun references, either singular or plural. Specific noun references are definite.
- Incorrect: Title of this course sounds interesting.
- Correct: The title of this course sounds interesting.
- Incorrect: Questions in yesterday’s grammar test were difficult.
- Correct: The questions in yesterday’s grammar test were difficult.
Do not use the with general noun references, either singular or plural. General noun references are indefinite.
- Incorrect: Our government should spend more money on the education.
- Correct: Our government should spend more money on education.
- Incorrect: The successful presentations require planning and practice.
- Correct: Successful presentations require planning and practice.
The indefinite articles are ‘a’ and ‘an’. Use ‘a’ and ‘an’ with singular countable nouns.
Example of a singular countable noun:
- a book, an orange.
Here are the main rules for indefinite articles.
Use ‘a’ and ‘an’ to introduce a singular countable noun.
- Let’s take a speech class this semester.
- There is an excellent show on TV tonight.
Use ‘a’ and ‘an’ to define or classify something.
- Jambalaya is a rice dish that is native to south Louisiana.
- My brother is an investigator for the city health department.
Use ‘a’ and ‘an’ to show that you are talking about one (of the item).
- Excuse me. Do you have a pencil that I could borrow?
- I need an eraser, as well.
Do not use ‘one’ interchangeably to mean ‘a’.
- “Do you have one pencil?” emphasises the number, not the pencil.
Special time expressions: One is used before the day, week, month, and so forth, to refer to a particular time when something occurred, as in “One day I visited the new museum in town.”
Use ‘a’ and ‘an’ for a general truth about a singular countable noun in a group.
- A piano has 96 keys.
- A teacher should plan lessons.
The Omission of the Article
There are some instances where no articles should be used. They are:
|Before uncountable nouns used in a generic sense||
|Before plural countable nouns used in a generic sense.||
|Before most proper nouns.||
|When places are used for their primary purpose.||
|Before names of relations||
|Before position that is normally held at one time by one person.||
|In cases of transitive verbs followed by its object.||
|In cases where a preposition is followed by its object.||
Repetition of the Article
So, the article is used before the first noun.