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    Articles in ESL

    I am teaching a friend some English. We are having a problem (he is a Russian/Georgian speaker) with some sort of rule for when to use definite and indefinte articles. Can you help us?


    Larry Helferich
    Ilia Kvitaishvili
    Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia

    PS If you can reply to an e-mail address, it is:

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 62

    Re: Articles in ESL

    The general, simple way of looking at it is that:

    'a' or 'an' (indefinite article) refers to a non-specific thing
    'the' (definite) refers to a specific thing


    He works at a hospital (we don't know which hospital he works at)
    He works at the hospital on Main Road (we know which hospital he works at)

    They're the basic rules. I'm sure there is much more to it than that, as there always is with English, but it's a start!

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