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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.
Related to 'Articles'
Related English Articles
Continue to learn about articles by browsing our articles on the topic.
Articles for Teachers
How to teach a, an, the and no article
How to teach English definite, indefinite and zero articles, with articles practice games.
How to teach a/ an and the
Definite and indefinite articles teaching tips and practice activities, including a/ an and the games
How to teach the zero article
Teaching tips and classroom activities for no article before nouns, including zero article games.
How to teach indefinite articles
How to present and practise a and an, including indefinite article games
Related Language Quizzes
Test your understanding by taking our language quizzes related to articles.
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|Beginner||A, An or The (12)|
|Beginner||Articles- 'The' with Place Names (10)|
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|Beginner||Definite Article or Zero Article? (20)|
|Beginner||Last & the last (10)|
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|Intermediate||Articles with geographical names (29)|
|Intermediate||Articles with uncountable nouns (10)|
|Intermediate||Definite Article or Zero Article- Geography (16)|