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Basic rules for when to use "A, An or The" (B1-B2 level)

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#Indefinite article (the)

#Where to use

#Where not to use[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”a = indefinite article” open=”false”]a = indefinite article (not a specific object, one of a number of the same objects) with consonants

  • Eric has a dog.
  • Gregory works in a factory.

[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”an=indefinite article” open=”false”]an = indefinite article (not a specific object, one of a number of the same objects) with vowels (a,e,i,o,u)

  • Can I have an apple?
  • Donata is an English teacher.

[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”the = definite article” open=”false”]the = definite article (a specific object that both the person speaking and the listener know)

  • The car over there is fast.
  • The teacher is very good, isn’t he?

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[/x_raw_content][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_accordion][x_accordion_item title=”WHERE TO USE” open=”true”]The first time you speak of something use “a or an”, the next time you repeat that object use “the”.

  • I live in a house. The house is quite old and has two bedrooms.
  • I ate in a Vietnamese restaurant. The restaurant was not very clean.

[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”WHERE NOT TO USE” open=”false”]

DO NOT use an article with countries, states, counties or provinces, lakes and mountains except when the country is a collection of states such as “The United States”.

  • My uncle lives in Cumbria near Lake Windermere.
  • They live in Bristol.

Use an article with bodies of water, oceans and seas –

  • I live on a small island in the Baltic Sea.

DO NOT use an article when you are speaking about things in general

  • I like Indian tea.
  • Simon likes reading books about linguistics.

DO NOT use an article when you are speaking about meals, places, and transport

  • He has breakfast at home.
  • I go to university.
  • Magda comes to work by taxi.

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