Online College Courses for Credit

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.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

37 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 33 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Articles Presentation

Using the Definite Article "the"

Article video "A" vs. "An"

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