*

TIP SheetDEFINITE and INDEFINITE ARTICLES

In English there are three articles: a, an, and the. Write-ups are used before nouns or noun equivalents and also are a kind of adjective. The definite write-up (the) is used before a noun to indicate that the identity of the noun is recognized to the reader. The indefinite write-up (a, an) is used prior to a noun that is basic or when its identification is no known. Over there are particular situations in i m sorry a noun bring away no article.

You are watching: An "eeg" is used to record information about _____ electrical activity.

As a guide, the adhering to definitions and also table summary the simple use the articles. Continue reading because that a much more detailed explanation that the rules and also for instances of how and when to use them.

Definite article

the (before a singular or many noun)

Indefinite article

a (before a singular noun start with a consonant sound)an (before a singular noun start with a vowel sound)

Count noun - describes items that can be counted and also are one of two people singular or plural

Non-count nouns - describes items that room not counted and are constantly singular

COUNT NOUNSNON-COUNT NOUNS
Rule #1Specific identity not knowna, an(no article)
Rule #2Specific identity knownthethe
Rule #3All points or things in general(no article)(no article)

For the functions of understanding how short articles are used, that is necessary to understand that nouns can be either count (can it is in counted) or noncount (indefinite in quantity and cannot be counted). In addition, count nouns space either singular (one) or plural (more 보다 one). Noncount nouns are always in singular form.

For example, if we space speaking that water that has been flood on the table, there deserve to be one fall (singular) or 2 or much more drops (plural) that water top top the table. Words drop in this instance is a count noun because we can count the variety of drops. Therefore, according to the rules using to count nouns, the word drop would use the short articles a or the.

However, if we are speaking the water in basic spilled ~ above the table, it would certainly not be proper to counting one water or two waters -- over there would simply be water on the table. Water is a noncount noun. Therefore, follow to the rules using to noncount nouns, the word water would use no article or the, yet not a.

Following space the three specific rules which explain the use of definite and indefinite articles.

Rule #1 - specific identity no known:Use the indefinite article a or an just with a singular count noun whose details identity is not known to the reader.Use a before nouns that start with a consonant sound, and also use an before nouns that begin with a collection sound.

Use the post a or an to indicate any kind of non-specified member that a team or category.

I think an animal is in the garageThat male is a scoundrel.We are looking for an apartment.

Use the post a or an to indicate one in number (as protest to an ext than one).

I own a cat and two dogs.

Use the article a before a consonant sound, and use an prior to a vowel sound.

a boy, an apple

◊ sometimes an adjective comes between the article and noun:

an unhappy boy, a red apple

The plural form of a or an is some.Use some to show an unspecified, restricted amount (but an ext than one).

an apple, some apples

Rule #2 - specific identity known:Use the definite post the with any noun (whether singular or plural, count or noncount) once the certain identity that the noun is known to the reader, together in the adhering to situations:

Use the article the as soon as a particular noun has already been pointed out previously.

I ate an apple yesterday.The apple was juicy and also delicious.

Use the short article the once an adjective, phrase, or i describing the noun clarifies or restricts that is identity.

The young sitting beside me elevated his hand.Thank you for the advice you provided me.

Use the write-up the once the noun describes something or someone that is unique.

the concept of relativitythe 2003 commonwealth budget

Rule #3 - All points or points in general:Use no article through plural counting nouns or any kind of noncount nouns provided to average all or in general.

Trees room beautiful in the fall. (All trees space beautiful in the fall.)He was asking for advice. (He was asking for advice in general.)I do not like coffee. (I carry out not prefer all coffee in general.)

Additional Information about the use of Articles

When denote an unspecified, restricted amount of a count or noncount noun, usage some.

My cousin was seeking some advice indigenous a counselor (not advice in general or advice about everything, yet a minimal amount the advice).

I would love some coffee right currently (not coffee in general, however a minimal amount that coffee).

We can get rain tomorrow.Some rain would be great for the plants (a certain amount of rain, as opposed to rain in general).

There space some fall of water ~ above the table (a restricted number, but much more than one drop).

Noncount nouns room those which commonly cannot it is in counted. Complying with are some typical examples:

Certain food and also drink items: bacon, beef, bread, broccoli, urbanbreathnyc.comr, cabbage, candy, cauliflower, celery, cereal, cheese, chicken, chocolate, coffee, corn, cream, fish, flour, fruit, ice cream cream, lettuce, meat, milk, oil, pasta, rice, salt, spinach, sugar, tea, water, wine, yogurt

Certain nonfood substances: air, cement, coal, dirt, gasoline, gold, paper, petroleum, plastic, rain, silver, snow, soap, steel, wood, wool

Most summary nouns:advice, anger, beauty, confidence, courage, employment, fun, happiness, health, honesty, information, intelligence, knowledge, love, poverty, satisfaction, truth, wealth

Areas that study:history, math, biology, etc.

Sports: soccer, football, baseball, hockey, etc.

Languages:Chinese, Spanish, Russian, English, etc.

Other: clothing, equipment, furniture, homework, jewelry, luggage, lumber, machinery, mail, money, news, poetry, pollution, research, scenery, traffic, transportation, violence, weather, work

Geographical names space confusing since some need the and also some execute not.

Use the with: unified countries, big regions, deserts, peninsulas, oceans, seas, gulfs, canals, rivers, mountain ranges, groups of islands

the Gobi Desertthe joined Arab Emiratesthe Sacramento Riverthe Aleutians

Do not use the with: streets, parks, cities, states, counties, most countries, continents, bays, solitary lakes, solitary mountains, islands

JapanChicoMt. EverestSan Francisco Bay

Examples the the usage of Articles

I do not desire a gun in mine house (any gun).The gun is in his closet (implies there is a details gun).I am afraid of guns (all firearms in general).

She sent out me a postcard native Italy (an unspecific postcard - no a letter, not an e-mail).It"s the postcard that I have actually in my office (one certain postcard).Getting postcards renders me desire to travel (any postcard in general).

I have a dog (one dog).The dog is an extremely friendly (the dog that i have already mentioned).Dogs make good pets (dogs in general).

Greta needs furniture in her apartment (furniture is a noncount noun).She is walking to choose the furniture that she needs (the certain furniture the she needs).She hopes to uncover some furniture this weekend (an unspecified, minimal amount the furniture).

See more: Official Tennessee A&Amp;M Score, Official Tennessee Dept

We are going to see the Statue of Liberty this weekend (the only Statue the Liberty).