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18 กุมภาพันธ์ 2555



General | A/an | The | Noarticle


First the good news:There are only threearticles in English: a,an and the.
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 the indefinitearticles. They refer to something not specifically known to the person you are communicating with.
A and anare used before nouns that introduce something or someone you have not mentioned before:-
For example: "I saw anelephant this morning."
"I ate a banana for lunch."
A and anare also used when talking about your profession:-
For example: "I am anEnglish teacher."
"I am a builder."


You use 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 sound thee soundWeak pronunciation sound tho sound

You use thewhen you know that the listener knows or can work outwhat particular person/thing you are talking about.
For example: "Theapple you ate was rotten."
"Did you lock thecar?"
You should also use thewhen you have already mentioned the thing you are talking about.
For example: "She's got two children; a girl and a boy. Thegirl's eightand the boy's fourteen."
We use theto talk about geographical points on the globe.
For example: the North Pole, theequator
We use theto talk about rivers, oceansand seas
For example: the Nile, thePacific, theEnglish channel
We also use thebefore certain nouns when we know thereis only one of a particular thing.
For example: therain, the sun, the wind, the world, theearth, the White House etc..
However if you want to describe a particular instance of these you should use a/an.
For example: "I could hear the wind." / "There's a cold wind blowing."
"What are your plans for thefuture?" / "She has apromising future ahead of her."
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:
For example: "Harry's Baris theplace to go."
"You don't mean you met theTony Blair, do you?"
!Note - Thedoesn't mean all:-
For example: "Thebooks are expensive." = (Not all books are expensive, just the ones I'm talking about.)
"Books are expensive." = (All books are expensive.)




We usually use noarticle to talk about things in general:-
Inflationis rising.
Peopleare worried about rising crime. (Note! People generally, so noarticle)
You do not useanarticle when talking about sports.
For example: My son plays football.
Tennisis expensive.
You do not useanarticle before uncountable nouns when talking about them generally.
For example: Information is important toany organisation.
Coffee is bad for you.
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.
For example: Noarticle - Italy, Mexico, Bolivia, England
Use the - the UK (United Kingdom), theUSA (United Statesof America), theIrish Republic
Multiple areas! theNetherlands, the Philippines, theBritishIsles

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.

Grammar rule 1

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'.

Grammar rule 2

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.

Grammar rule 3

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.

More uses ofarticles in English



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'.
"I'm ateacher."

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/