May 23, 2024

Use of articles in English

Use of articles in English

Definition of article

Articles such “as a/an and the” are the words that define a noun as specific (particular) or unspecific.

Use of articles in English

We use articles before nouns.

 Types of articles: definite and indefinite articles

Indefinite article  (A/ An) Definite article (The)

Indefinite articles : a/an

 Indefinite articles are used to indicate An unknown noun or indefinite person, place, or thing:

Indefinite article examples

I saw a woman in the park.

There was a lion there.

A strange man was standing in the street yesterday.

We use a/an article before common nouns when it is singular in form.

‘A’ is used before consonants sounds: (b,c,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,m,n,p,q,r,s,t,v,w,x,y,z)

A utensil, a university, a year, a European country, a school

 (a,e,i,o,u) (first sound from a,e,i, o,u)

‘An’ is used before vowel sounds:

An MBBS doctor, An S.D.M., An S.H.O., An MP, An Fir, An hour, An honest man, An N.C.C. boy, an heir, an heiress

Definite article: The

A particular or specified noun can say a known thing, person, or place.

Definite article examples

She is the girl whom I met yesterday.

He is the topper who got the highest marks in a university.

 This is the phone which I have bought it.

The tea of Assam is very good in taste.

The Gold of South Africa is not much expensive.

‘The’ is also used with:

Water bodies:


 The Ganga                               The Nile
 The Yamuna                            The Amazon
 The Brahamaputra                 The Missipi
 The Krishna                             The Huango ho                          
 The Kaveri                                The Kango
 The tapti                                   The Murray
The Koshi                                    The darling


The Atlantic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean
The India Ocean
The Pacific Ocean
The Southern Ocean


The Aral Sea
The Black Sea
The Red Sea
The Caspian Sea
The Dead Sea
The Mediterranean  Sea
The Sea of Galilee
The Salton Sea
The Arabian Sea


The Panama Canal
The Suez Canal
The Saimaa Canal
The Ganges Canal
The Anupgarh Canal
The Ainsley Canal
The Manchester Canal


The Thar desert
The Gobi desert
The Somali desert
The Kalahari desert
The Arabian desert
The Karakum desert
The Sahara desert
The Kazilkum desert

Historical caste:

The Aryans
The Red Indian
The Negroes
The Eskimoes

Historical dynasties:

The Chandel Dynasty
The Chalukya Dynasty
The Chola Dynasty
The Gupta Dynasty
The Pala Dynasty
The Maurya Dynasty
The Magadh Dynasty
The Maurya Dynasty
The Pallavi Dynasty
The Rashtrakuta Dynasty
The Satavahana Dynasty

Historical buildings:

The Tajmahal
The Red Fort
The Pyramids
The Golchar
The Pancha Mahal

Historical event:

The French Revolution
The Battle of Panipat
The Civil War
The word War I & II
The Russian Revolution
The Industrial Revolution

Historical ages/period

The Middle Age
The Old Stone Age
The Victorian Age
The Elizabethan Age


The Earth, the Mars, the Jupiter, the Saturn, the Neptune, the Venus

Historical buildings:

The Tajmahal, The Pyramids, The Winds of Palace, the Red Fort, The Amer Fort, The Jantar Mandir

Religious books:

The Geeta, The Ramayana, The Mahabharta, The Bible, The Quran, The Granth Sahib


The east, The west, The south, and The north, the north pole

Name of countries:

The U.S.A. THE UK The U.A.E.


English Newspapers:

The Times of India The Hindu  The Indian Express


The India Today The U.K. today The Caravan the Forbes India

Mount Ranges:

The Himalayas The Alps The Eastern Ghats the Vindhyas

No article before peaks of mountains:

Mount Everest Mount Fuji Mount Abu Annapurna Dhaulagiri and Nanda Devi


The Bay of Bengal, The Bay of China, The Bay of Biscay

The Persian Gulf, The Gulf of Mexico, The Gulf of Guyana

The Gulf of St. Lawrence

Group Islands:

The West Indies The Andamans The Philippines the Laccadive Islands

Exceptions: no article before

Java Sumatra Ceylon Sicily

Musical instruments:

The Guitar The Violin The Tabla The Trumpet

The + adjective makes plural noun to denote class

The rich   = rich people
The poor= poor people
The blind= blind people
The wicked= wicked people
The honest= honest people

Note: the poors, the riches, the blinds are wrong expressions.

However, we can say:

A poor man A rich man An honest man A sick man

Superlative degrees:

The tallest man
The most beautiful
The most handsome
The longest river

The + language = nationality of people

The English= English people
The French= French people

Omissions of articles:

No article/zero article before:

Before the regular meal:

Dinner lunch breakfast

No article before

Airports railway stations streets  roads


The’ article is not used in some places if used for primary/general purposes. The following nouns are mentioned below:

 Home, bed, jail, university, court, sea, hospital, school, college, bank, temple, church, mosque, market and prison, work, bed, etc.

I go to school daily.

She goes to the temple.

I bought a teddy bear from market.

Note: if the purpose is not according to a place, we use ‘the’ article. For examples:

 I saw a thief coming to the bed.

His bike was stolen from the market.

He went to the hospital to misbehave with his uncle.

But ‘the is used before cinema, movie, picture, theatre, office, bus stop, and station, etc.

No article before hobbies:

Painting is her profession.

 Singing is his passion.

My father loves to do gardening.

Reading makes him happy.

Walking makes him healthy.

Talking with patients is good therapy for them

Dancing is the best skill to show emotions before the audience.

Conversing with foreigners is an art.

I love traveling.

He likes cooking on weekends. Colour

No article Before  disease:

Cancer and aids are the dreaded diseases.

Insomnia is a mental disease.

Asthma affects the respiratory system of the body.

The Mumps is a contagious and infectious viral disease.

 but ‘the’ is used before some epidemic disease

For example:

The plague is an epidemic disease.

The flu is an epidemic disease that infects the community rapidly.  

The measles is a viral disease. It spreads in the skin, causing a red rash.

 The rickets is a bone disease due to vitamin D deficiency. It makes weak children’s’ bodies.

 No use of articles in English for modes of traveling transports:

He went to school by car.

She goes by train.

He travels by bus.

He rides on scooter.

He commutes by bicycle.

Before the name of relations:

Brother will make payment.

Sister is about to come.

Mother is the only relation that has selfless divine love.

Note: sister and brother imply my brother, my sister (Place of the possessive adjective)

Season: No article is required while we denote that

I will come in winter.

She will start college in summer.

But if you need to say that I go to granny’s home in the summer season.

Exercise I ( Use of articles in English)

Fill in the blanks with suitable articles a/an, where it is not necessary; cross mark (×):

  1. ….M.L.A.
  2. …..oxen
  3. …..eye
  4. …… ants
  5. ……effect
  6. …….Indian farmer
  7. ……N.C.C. boy
  8. …….art
  9. ……honest man
  10. …… F.I.R.
  11. …….typist
  12. ……drive
  13. ………university
  14. ………million
  15. …….honest
  16. …….. R.J.
  17. …….. N.R.I.
  18. ………sheep
  19. ………deer
  20. ………cartoon
Exercise II:

Fill in the blanks with use of articles in English:

  1. Which is ……….. longest river in the world.
  2. Is your friend ….. N.R.I.?
  3. Do you have ….. sheep?
  4.  She is …. Intelligent.
  5. My brother speaks ……. Truth.
  6. He tells …. Lie.
  7. …. Earth rotates on its axis.
  8. …..Sun rises in ….. east.
  9. ……Himalaya is the largest mountain series.
  10. I am going to …. theatre.
  11. He saw …. Bay of Bengal.
  12. …. Geeta is a holy book.
  13. She is ….. SDM at Sardhana in Meerut.
  14. …… poor should be helped by …. rich?
  15. ……  Mount Abu is a mountain peak.
  16. Does your friend play ….. football?
  17. …… breakfast was got ready on time.
  18. I went to ….. school late yesterday.
  19. Didn’t you go ….. home?
  20. He is reading …….. newspaper.
  21. I saw …….. Red fort and ……… Amer Fort. And then I  saw  ….. guitar in …….. museum.
  22. ……. Ganga and …….. Yamuna are ……… longest River in India.
  23. ……… Pacific Ocean is ……… largest ocean in …… world.
  24. India could have won …….. World Cup 2019.
  25. ……… Suez Canal is the longest river in the world. Is there black water in …….. Black Sea?
  26. He didn’t go to …… office. I saw him in …… market to buy clothes.
  27. He sent to ….. prison charge of murdering.
  28. …….. Dinner was taken late at night, and all …..       guests enjoyed themselves.
  29. I went there left to …. right.
  30. …… plague is an epidemic disease, but ….. cancer is very dangerous disease.


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