There are only three articles, and all of them are adjectives: a, an, and the. Because they are used to discuss non-specific things and people, a and an are called indefinite articles.

Examples –

  • I think an animal is in the garage.
  • I own a horse and two cats.
  • The girl sitting next to me raised her hand.

Basically, articles are either definite or indefinite. They combine to a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun.

  • Articles are small but important words in the English language.
  • Articles are considered adjectives because they modify or help describe nouns.
  • Articles always come before or precede the nouns they describe.

The word a (which becomes an when the next word begins with a vowel – a, e, i, o, u) is called the indefinite article because the noun it goes with is indefinite or general. The meaning of the article a is similar to the number one, but one is stronger and gives more emphasis. It is possible to say I have a book or I have one book, but the second sentence emphasizes that I do not have two or three or some other number of books.

The word the is known as the definite article and indicates a specific thing. The difference between the sentences I sat on a chair and I sat on the chair is that the second sentence refers to a particular, specific chair, not just any chair.

There are two types of Articles-

  • Indefinite Articles – A and An
  • Definite Articles – The

Indefinite Articles- The words A and An are called indefinite articles. We can use them with singular nouns to talk about any single person or thing.

When to use ‘a’

‘A’ is used before words beginning with a consonant sound.

Examples – A usual, a student, a doctor, a house.

When to use “an”

The article ‘an’ should be placed before words that begin with a vowel sound.

The initial sound should be a, e, i, o, or u.

Examples- An hour, an elephant, an ice-cream, an engineer, an athlete.

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