Articles, Types of Articles and Their Uses

According to Oxford Dictionary, Article is a part of speech that indicates, specifies and limits a noun. It particularizes the grammatical definiteness of the noun. It is always followed by a noun/noun phrase.

Article is categorized into two parts i.e. the Definite Article and Indefinite Article.

Definite Article

A word that introduces a noun and explicitly states it as the particular noun is called the Definite Article.

Article ‘The’ is Definite Article. It shows the particularity of a noun. It is generally used with countable/uncountable nouns, vowels/consonant sounds and singular/plural nouns. The use of ‘the’ makes a noun/noun phrase definite/specific.

'The' is used with

Indefinite Article

A word used before a noun to denote that the noun can belong to any class of objects is called Indefinite Article.

‘a’ and ‘an’ are called Indefinite Articles. They are used with both singular countable noun and units of uncountable noun. Specifically, Article ‘an’ is used with a vowel sound (not letter) and Article ‘a’ is used with a consonant sound (not letter). The use of ‘a’ and ‘an’ makes a noun/noun phrase indefinite.

'A' is used

'An' is used

Where Articles should not be Used?

There are many cases where the use of articles are discouraged.

Articles should not be used

  • before proper nouns, plural nouns etc.
  • before clothing items, religious institutions, etc.
  • before mountains, languages, games, etc.

To learn more, see: Where Articles should not be used?