A or The?

Okay, an article goes before most nouns.  Congratulations! Very good! You are on the way to understanding articles.

Now, how do you choose between a definite article (the) and an indefinite article (a/an)?* Here are some tips.

Basically, If you are introducing a thing or an idea, then an indefinite article is the proper one to use.  If the item or idea has been introduced and you talk more about it, then use a definite article.

Example: I needed a new shirt, so I went to a store to buy one. When I was in the store, I found just the shirt for me. It was my style and my size, so I bought it. After I paid for it, the cashier put the shirt in a bag.

Example: Last night, I had a dream. It surprised me. In the dream, I was a superstar, and had super powers.

If a person has an idea or a picture of the noun in their head, then it is likely a definite article is the correct choice.

*This blog addresses single nouns.  Plurals do not require “a” or “an”.

Published by myunlimitedenglish

I understand that language acquisition is a process. Once a person has learned the first few words of the language, they are on their way! Whether the next step is talking about ordering food in a restaurant or launching a rocket into space, I am available to help with the English. My passion in my teaching is to applaud the acquired language, to build further understanding and to practice next steps. I look forward to helping you in your next steps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: