Winning the battle with articles.
- What is an article? An article is a word that modifies a noun.
- How many types of articles are? In English, there are two different types of articles:
- the definite article (the). The definite article is used when we speak about something specific or something that has already been mentioned in the conversation.
- the indefinite article (a/an). The indefinite article is used when we speak about something for the first time, or something non-specific.
When to use “The”
- Use the to refer to something which has already been mentioned.
- Clauses introduced by only. You are the only person he will listen to.
- Decades. The seventies.
- Groups of people: The poor. The rich. The disable.
- System or service: How long does it take on the train?
- Names of countries and continents whose names include words like kingdom, states or republic or which have plural nouns as their names. The UK. The Netherlands.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner specific meal. We didn’t like the dinner.
- Uncountable nouns specific object. I like the almond milk.
- Compass directions following a preposition or designating a definite region. The South is hotter than the North. He looked to the north.
- Oceans, seas, rivers, and canals always with bodies of water. The Amazon.
- Mountain ranges. The Himalayas.
- Groups of islands. The Bahamas.
- Names with of-phrase. The length of the swimming pool.
- Names of unique objects or people Only one exists. One of a kind. The Internet.
- Jobs and professions *Indefinite article a/an. A Lawyer.
- Surnames. The Smiths.
- Musical instruments: Susan is learning to play the piano.
- Newspapers. The Times.
- Buildings or works of art. The Empire State Building.
- Hotels, pubs and restaurants. The Ritz Hotel.
When not to use “The”
- Names of countries and continents. England.
- Summits of Mountains, continent or towns. Mount Everest.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner. General meal. I do not eat breakfast.
- Uncountable nouns. General words. I like milk.
- Compass directions follow a verb. The team went east.
- Lakes. Lake Superior.
- Single Islands. Jamaica.
- Parks. Everglades National Park.
- Streets. …on the corner of 59th Street
Three principles to use articles better.