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The English that we study. English for beginners, Lesson 11

  • January 18, 2016
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Let us turn to the subject of articles!

What do you think about usage of articles? Are you sure that you do use them correctly? Do we need them to speak only about definite and indefinite things?

To tell the truth, the answer to the last question is “yes”; this is the most common usage. But let’s discover the others ones!

Believe me: this is easy!Lesson 11

“A/an” – indefinite article.

  1. “a” for “one”:
    A table and two chairs.
    A cup of tea.
  2. “a” for “one of”:
    Hello, my name is Tomas. – I have a brother called Tomas! (I’ve two brothers; one of them is Tomas.)
    This is a wild orchid. (There are a lot of wild orchids; this particular wild orchid is one of them.)
  3. “a” for jobs, current activity, nationality, religion:
    I am a student.
    Bob is a composer.
    Sheila is a dancer.
    She is a Catholic.
    Aren’t you a Frenchman?
  4. “an” + a, e, i, u, h (as mute letter):
    I am writing an article about this for half an hour already!
  5. “a” when the listener does not know what we are talking about:
    He took a bus and disappeared in few seconds. (Which bus? The bus going to which direction?)
  6. “a” with the following constructions: there is, I have got, this is, etc.
    I’ve got a flower for you!
    This is a mistake.
    There was a wedding ring.
  7. “a” in exclamatory sentences:
    What a lovely day!
    Such a smell of the lamp…
    What an awesome boy!
    Such a cute cat!
  8. “a” when we add a descriptive attribute:
    That was a lovely day.
    I had a very nice and tasty breakfast.
    We had a long journey.
    What will we do with a drunken sailor?

“The” – definite article.

  1. “the” for the definite object/subject:
    The dinner was delicious! (The dinner we had together.)
    Where is the umbrella? (My umbrella)
  2. “the” if the context gives the information about the object/subject:
    Pass me the bread, please. (We have lunch, and I want some bread.)
    Open the door, please. (There is only one door in the room, or the door I pointed at.)
  3. “the” for the whole pattern of objects/subjects:
    The bear eats the salmon.
    The women are crazily in love with puppies and kittens.
    The cat likes playing.
  4. “the” for the only one object:
    The Sun doesn’t rotate around the Earth.
    Paris is the capital of France. (France has only one capital.)
  5. “the” if we limited the object/subject:
    Paul took the umbrella you were looking for.
  6. “the” for the object/subject mentioned before:
    1) I live in a flat.
    2) The flat is spacious and light.
  7. “the” for the superlative degree, ordinal number, the words as only, very, wrong, opposite, right:
    The highest mount is Mount Everest. (There can’t be two highest mounts.)
    You are the best!
    He was the only one who helped me.
    The right choice is “A”.

Find out the homework for this lesson here.


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