Sunday, December 7, 2014

General Discussion of Articles

 Some important points of articles are given below. They will be very helpful and useful to the job seekers, the academic students and English Language learners.

01. Articles Before Singular Common Noun

You know that 'a and an' are called indefinite articles because they don't point out any particular persons or things. Example:
a book= any book; a girl= any girl.

As a general rule, a common noun in the singular number should have an article before it. Thus you can't say, 'He has seen bird.' But you should say, 'He has seen a bird or the bird.'
But common noun in the plural doesn't require article 'The' unless you want to particularize: Boys love games; but the boys(those already referred to, or those before us) are playing cricket.

02. Generalizing 'A' or 'An'

'A' or 'An' is sometimes used before a noun to indicate a class. It is then called the Generalizing 'A' or 'An'. A son should obey his father. An ant is an industrious creature. 

03. 'A/ ' used as a Preposition

He went a hunting.
They go there four times a day.
You can walk ten kilometers an hour.  

04. Repetition of the Article

When two nouns joined by 'and' refer to the same person or thing, the article is used only before the first; but if they mean the separate person or things, the article must be repeated before each. 

As for example:
 The Secretary and the Headmaster have done this.(Two separate men)
The Secretary and Headmaster has done this. (The same man)

05. The Instrumental 'The'

'The' is sometimes used adverbially before comparatives to represent the old Instrumental case of the. It is then called the instrumental 'The'. It is to be parsed, not as definite article, but as an Adverb.
 The more, the merrier. 
The sooner, the better. The first 'The' is relative, the second 'the' is demonstrative.)

06. Generalizing 'The' 

The is sometimes used before an adjective or noun to indicate a class. It is then called the Generalizing 'The'. Example:
The rich (rich men) are not always happy.
The cow is a useful animal. 

07. Defining 'The'

The is sometimes placed before a noun when the noun is separately defined by a qualifying word, phrase or clause, expressed or understood. It is then called the Defining 'The'. As for example:
The book that he gave her is lost. 
You don't have the courage to do it.
Give him the red ball. 

08. Familiar 'The'

The is sometimes placed before a noun when the notion conveyed by the noun is unique or so familiar that no descriptive word or phrase is needed. It is then called the Familiar 'The'. 
Example: Come into the garden( the garden belongs to our house).
The sun moves round the sun.

09. Possessive 'The'

Sometimes 'The' is used in the place of a Possessive Adjective when it is clear from the context to whom the thing mentioned belongs. It is then called the possessive 'The'. She hit him on the (=his) head. 

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