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Unit 1: Sentence fragmentsUnit 2: Run-on sentences Unit 3: Subject-verb agreementUnit 4: TensesUnit 5: PassiveUnit 6: ApostrophesUnit 7: Articles
 

Articles in English

This section considers the use of articles in English and provides examples that demonstrate key concepts such as particularity, generality, non-count nouns and uniqueness.

Two very common types of article in English are:

  • the definite article: the

and

  • the indefinite article: a / an.

Using articles correctly in English is a particular problem for students who come from a language background in which articles are either not used at all or are used in different ways from English.

In academic writing, it is the incorrect use of the definite article the that causes most of the problems. This Unit will look briefly at using the indefinite article a/an, but its main focus is on using the definite article correctly. We will also look at some cases in which you should use no article at all.

There are many rules concerning the use of articles in English. It is easy to get lost in them unless you have some basic principles to guide you.

This unit contains many examples showing how articles are used (or left out) in various contexts. Use them to help you make sense of the rules. These rules will probably be a bit much to take in all at once. Try reading through a section at a time, doing some of the exercises, and then coming back to the rest of the unit again later.

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