I want a sandwich with the best peanut butter in the world and an apple. What can you find in this sentence? Articles! What are articles? Articles are words that define specific or unspecific nouns. The articles we use are “a,” “an,” and “the,” and there are specific rules we use to know which article we need to use in a sentence. 

First off, there are indefinite and definite articles. Articles A and An are indefinite articles. Indefinite articles refer to a general idea of something rather than a specific noun. For example, if you ask someone, “Can you go to a new restaurant with me?” They will not know which restaurant you are talking about. It can be any! Another rule you must consider when using articles an and a is the noun you are using it with. You use the article “a” when it precedes a word that begins with a consonant. For example, the sentence: “I saw a cat.” The article comes before the word cat, and cat starts with a consonant. You use the article “an” when it precedes a vowel. You use the article an when it precedes a word that begins with a consonant. For example, the sentence: “I saw an octopus.” The article an is before the word octopus, and octopus begins with a vowel. Therefore, you would need to use the article an.

The definite article the is used to refer to specific nouns. You want to use the when you want someone to know exactly what you are talking about. For example, you tell your friend, “Meet me at the Starbucks down the street.” The article the is used to tell someone you both know exactly which Starbucks you are referring to. 

If you are having trouble understanding grammar rules on your own, our ESL program will help you better understand the countless grammar rules and answer any questions you may have. To get started on the process of enrolling in an ESL course in the Los Angeles or Orange County area, visit our website American English Language School, or email today for more information!

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Published on April 18, 2023

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