English Grammar: Articles

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Definition:

A, AN, and THE are called articles. They go with nouns to show whether a noun is specific and identifiable or general, and can show whether the noun is singular. The indefinite article can be used when a noun is referred to for the first time, after which the definite article can be used to show that the focus of the text is the noun referred to in the first mention.

THE is the Definite Article

A and AN are both used for the Indefinite Article

"The boy" refers to a definite, particular boy, but "A boy" refers to no particular boy; it could be any boy.

When no article is used, it is sometimes referred to as the Zero Article.

Articles belong to a group of words which are known as Determiners; they restrict or specify a noun in some way.

Category:

Articles

Related Grammar Definitions

Related Language Quizzes

Test your understanding by taking our language quizzes related to articles.

Level Quiz
Beginner A & An (25)
Beginner A, An or The (12)
Beginner Articles (60)
Beginner Articles- 'The' with Place Names (10)
Beginner Articles- Geographical terms and names (10)
Beginner Definite Article or Zero Article? (20)
Beginner Last & the last (10)
Beginner Zero article or The? (57)
Beginner Zero or Definite Article (10)
Intermediate Articles with geographical names (29)
Intermediate Articles with uncountable nouns (10)
Intermediate Definite Article or Zero Article- Geography (16)
Advanced Articles (10)