The Proper Use of the Articles a, an and the

Here are guidelines on when and how to use these articles:

"a" and "an" (indefinite articles)

"A" is used before words that begin with a consonant sound.

Example: I saw a dog in the park.

"An" is used before words that begin with a vowel sound.

Example: She ate an apple for breakfast.

"the" (definite article)

"The" is used when you are talking about a specific item, thing, or person that the listener or reader can identify.

Example: The cat in my garden is very friendly.

"The" is also used to indicate that the noun is unique or one-of-a-kind.

Example: The sun rises in the east.

"The" is used before superlative adjectives (e.g., the tallest, the most beautiful), ordinal numbers (e.g., the first, the second), and when talking about well-known geographical features.

Example: Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

"The" is not used before general nouns when you are talking about things in a non-specific way.

Example: I love to read books. (Not "I love to read the books.")

More tips and rules

Do not use any article before plural nouns when referring to them in a general or non-specific way.

Example: Dogs are loyal animals.

"The" is not used with uncountable nouns when they are used in a general sense.

Example: I love music. (Not "I love the music.")

"A" or "an" is used when introducing a singular countable noun for the first time.

Example: I have a new car. (The first time you mention the car.)

Example: The car is blue. (Once you've introduced it, you use "the.")

In some cases, you can omit articles when referring to certain places, such as school, church, work, and home. This is especially common in American English.

Example: I'm going to school.

"The" is used before musical instruments.

Example: She plays the piano.

Remember that the use of articles can be complex and may depend on context. This is a case where practice makes perfect.

Grade 2 articles worksheets

We have some worksheets for students to practice using the correct article in sentences and before nouns.

Grade 2 articles worksheets

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