These Three determiners – a, an and the are called “Articles”. They are the most common among all Determiners.
In other words, An article is a word that modifies or describes the Noun in a sentence.
TYPES OF ARTICLES/DETERMINERS
In the English language, There are two types of Articles.
1. Definite article: As the word Definite means to be exact , obvious or clear about something. It is called definite article because it is used in relation to a particular Noun i.e. Particular thing or person.
“The” is the only Definite article in English Language.
2. Indefinite article: As the word Indefinite means to be not exact , neither obvious nor clear about something. It is called Indefinite article because the identity of the thing or person being spoken about in a sentence is left unclear or indefinite.
“A” & “AN” are the two Indefinite article in English Language
A/An are used before Indefinite singular countable nouns.
- I have a toy.
- This is an apple.
- She sang a song.
- Shyam is a professor.
- “An”:- An is used only before vowel sounds. Remember A,E,I,O,U do not necessarily produce vowel sound. We must see the Hindi alphabet if we are comfortable in Hindi because the vowel of Hindi Letters can be helpful else we need to learn Phonetics.
- “A” :– If the word starts not with vowel sounds but with the consonant sound article “A” is used.
USE OF ARTICLES/DETERMINERS - A/AN
- A/An is used before singular countable nouns which means that can be counted.
- In exclamatory sentences, – An is is used after what and how and before the singular countable noun that comes in the sentences.
- In place of “per”, A/An is used.
- With a few words that denote the number of countable nouns such as ‘hundred’, ‘thousand’, ‘million’, ‘dozen’, ‘couple‘, etc. “A” is used.
- A is used before fractions and half/fractions.
- When a verb is as a noun, it takes article ‘A/An’ before it.
- If many/rather/quite/such takes a singular noun after them, A/An is used before the noun.
- In a few phrases A/An are used. Some of these phrases are:- In a fix, In a hurry, In a nutshell, Make a noise, Make a foot, Keep a secret, As a rule, At a stone’s throw, a short while ago, at a home, Take a fancy to, take an interest in, take a liking, a pity, tell a lie.
WHER DO WE OMIT ARTICLES/DETERMINERS - "A/An" ?
- It should not be used with plural noun.
- A/An is not used with uncountable noun.
- Advice, accommodation, baggage, luggage, news, permission, progress, scenery, weather, traffic, knowledge, music, wine, equipment, information, poetry, furniture, hair, business, mischief, bread, stationery, crockery, postage, wastage, money, jewellery, breakage, work, evidence.
- Article are not used before the noun, in a sentence with ‘what kind of‘, ‘what sort of’, ‘what type of‘ and ‘what variety of‘.