What are Articles?

This week I am going to be focusing on Articles of speech.

What is an Article? Or a Article?

Well, all the following are articles: the, a, an.

Articles are words that define nouns. What does it mean to define a noun?

Take the following sentences:

At the park, I kicked the football

At a park, I kicked a football.

The use of the and a here give specificity to the situation. ‘The park’ is a specific park whereas

a park’ is any park.

Definite and Indefinite articles

There are technical terms for the differences in the two types of article. Definite and Indefinite.

The is the definite article as it makes the noun specific, and yep, you guessed it, a and an are indefinite articles.

Which indefinite article do I use? I hear you ask’.

Well, there is a general rule for this, and yes there are exceptions. The rule is a comes before a noun where the noun begins with a consonant, and ‘an’ comes before a noun that begins with a vowel.

For example:

I want an Ice cream – started with an ‘I’ (vowel) and therefore, is an.

I want a new car – adjective started with ‘n’ (consonant) and therefore, is a

Zero article

There is such a thing as a zero article.

A zero article usually applies to plurals or mass nouns

For example:

People are not good with wasps (including me). As ‘wasps’ is plural, no article is required.

It is also worth noting that pronouns and proper nouns do not require articles.

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Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

17 thoughts on “What are Articles?

  1. Thanks for this post! I used to really struggle with articles (I still do sometimes), it’s not a thing in my mother tongue. (Take a and an for example) I think it’s easier to recognise this in writing, but a bit trickier when speaking, since you don’t have much time to think whether the next word is begin with a vowel or consonant ; however in the mean time, it seems like it’s not a serious problem in speaking, because no matter is ‘a’ or ‘an’, normally it’s just a very light and quiet sound that people tend to ignore (unless it’s what the speaker wants to emphasise)


          1. Thanks!! What about ‘the’? I believe it’s a rule, if the following word begins with a vowel it should pronounce /ði/, but I’ve heard lots of people pronounced it /ðə/, it makes me a bit confused…


            1. I am from England and 90% of the time we use /ðə/. What you have said is correct, but it is if the word begins with a vowel ‘sound’ , the sound is the important bit and that is probably where you get confused.

              Liked by 1 person

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