Article usage

Article usage

Author: Ryan Howard
  1. Explain what articles are and how they function in a sentence.

  2. Explain how to determine correct article usage and the difference between “the” and “a/an” (definite and indefinite articles)

This packet should help a learner seeking to understand English grammar and who is confused about the difference between definite and indefinite articles.

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Using the Definite Article "the"

A vs. An Exercise

Choose the correct word in parenthesis.

       1. Telly bought (a / an) new TV set.


        2. Marge and Glenn are at (a / an) wedding.


        3. Heather has not always been (a / an) advocate for animal rights.


        4.  My grandmother was (a / an) immigrant from Spain.


        5. The man saw (a / an)  antelope by the road.


       6. Kelly has (a / an) canopy on her bed. 


      7. (A / An) alligator swam through the swampy water. 


Now, let us try with an adjective before the noun.  Remember to look at whether the adjective begins with a vowel or a consonant. 


1. Jasper saw (a / an) black cat across the street.


2. Hasafa is not (a / an) illegal immigrant. 


3. I would love to own (a / an) alligator purse.


4. This is (a / an) early model of the Titanic.


5. You are (a / an) brilliant artist. 


6. Julie has (a / an) elegant gown.


7.  Kevin is (a / an) good friend.

Article Activities


In this packet, you learned:

  • An article defines the noun it precedes
  •  A definite article is identifiable to the reader and defines a particular noun
  • An indefinite article is not identifiable to the reader and defines a non-particular noun
  • "A" is used when the noun or the adjective preceeding the noun begins with a consonant.
  • "An" is used when the noun or adjective preceeding the noun begins with a vowel