Types of Articles

types of articles

There are two Articles – a (or an) and the.

types of articles

An article needs a noun in absence of which, we cannot use any article.

Types of Articles

There are two types of Articles:

  • Indefinite Article

  • Definite Article

Indefinite Articles

types of articles

An Indefinite Article leaves indefinite the person or thing spoken of, i.e. the noun is not specified.

A mechanic (i.e. any mechanic).

An elephant (i.e. any elephant).

Concept 1: Indefinite article with singular countable nouns

We generally use indefinite article before singular countable nouns (when they are indefinite and introduced for the first time).

This is ring. (incorrect)
This is a ring. (correct)

She gave me apple. (incorrect)
She gave me an apple. (correct)


We do not use an article before a singular countable noun, if there already is a determiner for it.

This is my book. (my – determiner)
I like this book. (this – determiner)
I have two books. (two – determiner)
This book is new. (this – determiner)

Concept 2: Indefinite article with plural nouns

‘A/An’ should not be used with plural nouns.

A boys are playing. (incorrect; boys – plural noun)
Boys are playing. (correct)

A teachers have arrived. (incorrect; teachers – plural noun)
Teachers have arrived. (correct)
The teachers have arrived. (correct)

Concept 3: Indefinite article with uncountable nouns

A/An is not used with uncountable nouns.

She gave me an advice. (incorrect)
She gave me advice. (correct)

Definite Article

types of articles

Definite article is normally used for some specific person or thing (i.e. a definite noun), i.e. something that we can point out, visualize or that has already been introduced.

She saw the mechanic. (i.e. some particular mechanic)

Once upon a time, there lived a king. The king was very cruel.
(notice that in the second instance of ‘king’ we used ‘the’, as it had already been introduced.)

The definite article is used before:

  • singular countable nouns, e.g. the car
  • plural countable nouns, e.g. the cars
  • uncountable nouns, e.g. the milk

A versus An

The choice between ‘a’ and ‘an’ is determined by sound.

Use of An

We use ‘an’ before these words:

  • A word beginning with a vowel sound.
    E.g. an orange, an umbrella, an enemy, an ink-pad.

  • A word beginning with a silent letter ‘h’ and a vowel sound (i.e. initial consonant ‘h’ is not pronounced). E.g. an hour, an honour.

Use of A

We use ‘a’ before these words:

  • A word beginning with a consonant sound.
    E.g. a boy, a horse.

  • A word starting with a vowel letter but still beginning with a consonant sound.

    E.g. a university, a union, a utensil, a European, a ewe, a unicorn, a useful article.
    (these words begin with a consonant sound of ‘yu’)

    a one-rupee note, a one-eyed man.
    (‘one’ begins with the consonant sound of ‘w’)

Position of Articles

Pattern 1

An ‘article’ comes before a ‘noun’.

Pattern: Article + Noun

He is a student. (student - noun)
That is an island. (island - noun)

Pattern 2

If an adjective qualifies the noun, the ‘article’ comes before the ‘adjective’.

Pattern: Article + Adjective + Noun

He is a poor. (incorrect; poor – adjective; noun missing)
He is poor. (correct; poor – adjective working as subject complement)
He is a poor boy. (correct; poor – adjective; boy - noun)

She is an honest. (incorrect; honest - adjective; noun missing)
She is honest. (correct; honest – adjective working as subject complement)
She is an honest girl. (correct; honest – adjective; girl - noun)


If there is a singular countable noun between as…as, so…as or so…that, and it needs an article, then that article will come just before the noun.

Pattern 1: as + Adjective + Article + Noun + as
He is as great a man as Mragank.

Pattern 2: so + Adjective + Article + Noun + as
She is not so clever a woman as Aanya.

Pattern 3

If an ‘adverb’ qualifies the ‘adjective’ qualifying the ‘noun’, the ‘article’ comes before the ‘adverb’.

Pattern: Article + Adverb + Adjective + Noun

He is a very good student. (very – adverb; good – adjective; student - noun)

Extra Books and Tools

Though the matter on our website is in-depth and comprehensive enough for the demands of most of the aptitude exams, but it may feel daunting for the same reasons. Moreover, some learners prefer paperback books over websites.

So, if you are a beginner level English learner, and prefer books, you may explore the following English Grammar books too.

1. Wren & Martin - This book has been around for long and is still considered one of the best. Though many concepts have not been dealt with in much depth here, but beginners may find it a breeze to read. Once you are done with it, the content on our website will work as a rich add-on. If you are getting this book, make sure you get the key to its exercises too.

Links for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries:

High School English Grammar and Composition Paperback

Key to Wren and Martin

Link for Indian readers: Wren and Martin

2. More advanced learners may refer to the following books. However, buy them only if you must. Most of your English Grammar learning needs will easily be met by our website.

A. Essential English Grammar by Raymond Murphy

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries: Essential Grammar in Use - with Answers

Link for Indian readers: Essential English Grammar

B. Intermediate English Grammar by Raymond Murphy

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries: English Grammar in Use - with Answers

Link for Indian readers: Intermediate English Grammar

C. Advanced English Grammar by Martin Hewings

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries: Advanced Grammar in Use - with Answers

Link for Indian readers: Advanced English Grammar

So much so for Englsh Grammar. But what about Comprehension skills and Vocabulary?

We strongly believe that Comprehension skills and Vocabulary are more a matter of practice. The more you read, the better you will become in them. In fact, this will help you in Grammar too. Afterall Grammar rules are just in the nature of temporary scaffholding - the goal is to read, write and speak a language without consciously remembering even a single Grammar rule.

So, we suggest you to read vividly. Ideally, carry some tool with you that you may refer so as to learn the meaning of any word that is new to you. There are many ways you may go about it.

* The old method: Carry a good dictionary with you. But who does?

* Download a Thesauraus app on your mobile or just google it. Better, but we still need to stop reading, open the app, type and then search. Boring!

The methods mentioned above kill the joy of reading. Who wants to stop reading in the midst of an interesting plot and look for the meaning of a word? And if you are a lazy soul like me, Oh man! No chance!

That's why I prefer to read on gadgets like Kindle. We may just tap on any word and see its meaning there and then. It's also not taxing on the eyes.

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries:

Link for Indian readers:

There are a multitude of Kindle models and versions available. So, you may have to do some research on your own regarding which model serves your need the best. Though, any model will meet our basic reading needs.

If you guys know about any more such books, gadgets and technologies that are awesome and may help English learners, do share 😇
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