There are two types ofarticles indefinite 'a' and 'an' or definite 'the'.You also need to know when not to useanarticle.
The bad newsis that their proper useis complex, especially when you get into the advanced use of English. Quite often you have to work it out bywhat soundsright, which can be frustrating for a learner.
Indefinitearticles - aandan (determiners)
A and anare used before nouns that introduce something or someone you have not mentioned before:-
|For example:||"I saw
"I ate a banana for lunch."
|For example:||"I am
"I am a builder."
a when the noun
you are referring to begins with a consonant (b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n,
p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y or z), for example, "a
city", "a factory", and
"a hotel". |
You use anwhen the noun you are referring to begins with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u)
Pronunciation changes this rule. It's the sound that matters, not the spelling.
If the next word begins with a consonant soundwhen we say it, for example, "university" then we use a. If the next word begins with a vowel sound when we say it, for example "hour" then we use an.
We say "university" with a "y" sound at the beginning as though it were spelt "youniversity".
So, "auniversity"IS correct.
We say "hour" with a silent h as though it were spelt "our".
So, "anhour"IS correct.
(Lots of people get this wrong - including native speakers.)
DefiniteArticle - the (determiners)
There are two ways to pronounce "the". One "thuh"and the other "thee". To learn when we use them see the pronunciation files: How to pronounce "the".
Strongpronunciation Weak pronunciation
You use thewhen you know that the listener knows or can work outwhat particular person/thing you are talking about.
You should also use thewhen you have already mentioned the thing you are talking about.
We use theto talk about geographical points on the globe.
We use theto talk about rivers, oceansand seas
We also use thebefore certain nouns when we know thereis only one of a particular thing.
However if you want to describe a particular instance of these you should use a/an.
Theis also used to say that a particular person or thing being mentionedis the best, most famous, etc. In this use, 'the'is usually given strong pronunciation:
!Note - Thedoesn't mean all:-
We usually use noarticle to talk about things in general:-
You do not useanarticle when talking about sports.
You do not useanarticle before uncountable nouns when talking about them generally.
You do not useanarticle before the names of countries exceptwhere they indicate multiple areas or contain the words (state(s), kindom, republic, union). Kingdom, state, republicand union are nouns, so they needanarticle.
ที่มา : http://www.learnenglish.de/grammar/articlestext.htm
In English, knowing when to use 'a' or 'the'can be difficult. Fortunately, there are rules to help you, but you need to know what type of noun you are using.
When you have a single, countable English noun, you must always have an article before it. We cannot say "please pass me pen", we must say "please pass me thepen" or "please pass me apen" or "please pass me your pen".
Nouns in English can also be uncountable. Uncountable nouns can be concepts, such as 'life', 'happiness' and so on, or materials and substances, such as 'coffee', or 'wood'.
Uncountable nouns don't use 'a' or 'an'. This is because you can't count them. For example, advice is an uncountable noun. You can't say "he gave me an advice", but you can say "he gave me someadvice", or "he gave me a piece ofadvice".
Some nouns can be both countable and uncountable. For example, we say "coffee" meaning the product, but we say "acoffee" when asking for one cup of coffee.
You can use 'the'to make general things specific. You can use 'the'with any type of noun – plural or singular, countable or uncountable.
"Please pass me a pen" – any pen.
"Please pass me thepen" – the one that we can both see.
"Children grow up quickly" – children in general.
"Thechildren I know grow up quickly" – not all children, just the ones I know.
"Poetry can be beautiful"- poetry in general.
"Thepoetry of Hopkins is beautiful" – I'm only talking about the poetry Hopkins wrote.
Rivers, mountain ranges, seas, oceans and geographic areas all use 'the'.
For example, "TheThames", "TheAlps", "TheAtlantic Ocean", "TheMiddle East".
Unique thingshave 'the'.
For example, "the sun", "the moon".
Some institutional buildings don't have an article if you visit them for the reason these buildings exist. But if you go to the building for another reason, you must use 'the'.
"Her husband is in prison." (He's a prisoner.)
"She goes to theprison to see him once a month."
"My son is in school." (He's a student.)
"I'm going to the school to see the head master."
"She's in hospital at the moment." (She's ill.)
"Her husband goes to thehospital to see her every afternoon."
Musical instruments use 'the'.
"She plays thepiano."
Sportsdon't have an article.
"He plays football."
Illnessesdon't have an article.
"He's got appendicitis."
But we say "a cold" and "a headache".
Jobs use 'a'.
We don't use 'a'if the country is singular. "He lives in England." But if the country's name has a "plural" meaning, we use 'the'. "ThePeople's Republic of China", "TheNetherlands", "TheUnited States of America".
Continents, towns and streetsdon't have an article.
"Africa", "New York", "Church Street".
Theatres, cinemas and hotelshave 'the'.
"The Odeon", "TheAlmeira", "The Hilton".
Abbreviations use 'the'.
"the UN", "theUSA", "the IMF".
We use 'the' before classes of people.
"the rich", "the poor", "the British".
ที่มา : http://www.english-at-home.com/grammar/articles/