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Supplementary Lesson 07/07/2014

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Supplementary Lesson 07/07/2014
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  Supplementary Lesson 07/07/2014 Articles   Definition of articles   English has two types of articles: definite ( the ) and indefinite ( a, an .) The use of these articles depends mainly on whether you are referring to any member of a group, or to a specific member of a group:   1. Indefinite Articles: a  and an    A  and an  signal that the noun modified is indefinite, referring to any   member of a group. These indefinite articles are used with singular nouns when the noun is general; the corresponding indefinite quantity word some  is used for plural general nouns. The rule is:  1.   a + singular noun beginning with a consonant: a boy   2.   an + singular noun beginning with a vowel: an elephant   3.   a + singular noun beginning with a consonant sound: a user (sounds like 'yoo-zer,' i.e. begins with a consonant 'y' sound, so 'a' is used)  4.   some + plural noun: some girls   If the noun is modified by an adjective, the choice between a  and an  depends on the initial sound of the adjective that immedately follows the article:  1.   a  broken egg  2.   an  unusual problem  3.   a  European country (sounds like 'yer-o-pi-an,' i.e. begins with consonant 'y' sound)   Note also that in English, the indefinite articles are used to indicate membership in a profession, nation, or religion.  1.   I am a  teacher.  2.   Brian is an  Irishman.  3.   Seiko is a  practicing Buddhist.    2. Definite Article: the      The definite article is used before singular and plural nouns when the noun is particular or specific. The  signals that the noun is definite, that it refers to a  particular   member of a group or the noun we already know about. Compare the indefinite and definite articles in the following examples:   Indefinite ( a  or an )   Definite ( the )   Singular   a  dog (any dog) an  apple (any apple)  1.   the  dog (that specific dog)  2.   the  apple (that specific apple)   Plural   some  dogs (any dogs) some  apples (any apples)  3.   the  dogs (those specific dogs)  4.   the  apples (those specific apples)   The  is not used with non-countable nouns referring to something in a general sense:  1.   [no article] Coffee is a popular drink.  2.   [no article] Japanese was his native language.  3.   [no article] Intelligence is difficult to quantify.      The  is used with non-countable nouns that are made more specific by a limiting modifying phrase or clause:  1.   The  coffee in my cup is too hot to drink.  2.   The  Japanese he speaks is often heard in the countryside.  3.   The  intelligence of animals is variable but undeniable.      The  is also used when a noun refers to something unique:  1.   the  White House  2.   the  theory of relativity  3.   the  1999 federal budget    Note: Geographical uses of the   Do not use the  before:  1.   names of countries (Italy, Mexico, Bolivia) except the Netherlands and the US  2.   names of cities, towns, or states (Seoul, Manitoba, Miami)  3.   names of streets (Washington Blvd., Main St.)  4.   names of lakes and bays (Lake Titicaca, Lake Erie) except with a group of lakes like the Great Lakes 5.   names of mountains (Mount Everest, Mount Fuji) except with ranges of mountains like the Andes or the Rockies or unusual names like the Matterhorn 6.   names of continents (Asia, Europe) 7.   names of islands (Easter Island, Maui, Key West) except with island chains like the Aleutians, the Hebrides, or the Canary Islands Do use the  before:  1.   names of rivers, oceans and seas (the Nile, the Pacific)  2.   points on the globe (the Equator, the North Pole)  3.   geographical areas (the Middle East, the West)  4.   deserts, forests, gulfs, and peninsulas (the Sahara, the Persian Gulf, the Black Forest, the Iberian Peninsula)    Determiners: A, An or The?   *When do we say "the dog" and when do we say "a dog"? (On this page we talk only about singular, countable nouns.)   *The and a/an are called "articles". We divide them into "definite" and "indefinite" like this:   Articles   Definite   Indefinite   the   a, an   *We use "definite" to mean sure, certain. "Definite" is particular.   *We use "indefinite" to mean not sure, not certain. "Indefinite" is general.   *When we are talking about one thing in particular, we use the. When we are talking about one thing in general, we use a or an.   *Think of the sky at night. In the sky we see 1 moon and millions of stars. So normally we would say:  1.   I saw the moon last night.  2.   I saw a star last night.   Look at these examples:   the   a, an   The capital of France is Paris.   I have found the book that I lost.   Have you cleaned the car?   There are six eggs in the fridge.   Please switch off the TV when you finish.   I was born in a town.   John had an omelette for lunch.   James Bond ordered a drink.   We want to buy an umbrella.   Have you got a pen?   *Of course, often we can use the or a/an for the same word. It depends on the situation, not the word. Look at these examples:   *We want to buy an umbrella. (Any umbrella, not a particular umbrella.)   *Where is the umbrella? (We already have an umbrella. We are looking for our umbrella, a particular umbrella.)    Note:   This little story should help you understand the difference between the and a, an: A man and a woman were walking in Oxford Street. The woman saw a dress that she liked in a shop. She asked the man if he could buy the dress for her. He said: "Do you think the shop will accept a cheque? I don't have a credit card."   Further Uses of Articles   In addition, use of a, an, and the  also depends on whether the noun following the article possesses one of these paired qualities:   1. Countable vs. Non-countable    A  and an  are used if the noun can be counted.   I stepped in a  puddle. (How many puddles did you step in? Just one. Therefore, use a .)   I drank a  glass of milk. ( Glasses of milk   can be counted)   I saw an  apple tree. (  Apple trees  can be counted)   The  must be used when the noun cannot be counted.   I dove into the  water. (How many waters did you dive into? The question doesn't make any sense because water   is noncountable. Therefore, use the .)   I saw the  milk spill. (How many milks? Milk  cannot be counted)  
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