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The Articles in English Grammar

In these lessons, we will learn what are articles and how they can be used in the English Language.

Related Topics:
More Lessons on English Grammar
IELTS, TOEFL and English as a Second Language


The most frequently used adjectives are a, an and the. These little words are usually called articles and they belong to the class of words called determiners.

The following diagram gives examples of how to use the articles: a, an, the. Scroll down the page for more examples and explanations.

Articles a an the

A and an are indefinite articles; they refer to one of a general group.


A woman arrived.
He is reading a magazine.
She bought a dress today.

Would you like an ice-cream?
An automobile went by.
He waited an hour.

A is used before words beginning with a consonant sound (a car, a bird, a university).
An is used before words beginning with a vowel sound (an umbrella, an hour)

Notice in the sentence, “He waited an hour.”, that an is used before a noun beginning with the consonant h, because the h in hour is not pronounced. Hour is pronounced as if it began with a vowel (like our). Remember that the sound of the noun, not the spelling, determines which indefinite article will be used.

The is the definite article. It indicates that the noun refers to someone or something in particular.


The woman arrived.
The automobile went by.
The hour for her departure finally arrived.
He won the race.
Where is the cat?
We are going to the beach.

An introduction or overview of English articles: a, an, the, and the zero article.
Level: Intermediate to advanced.

This is a lesson in two parts. Part 1 presents basic rules or guidelines for using English articles.

An introduction or overview of English articles: a, an, the, and the zero article.
Level: Intermediate to advanced.
This is a lesson in two parts. Part 2 summarizes the basic rules for using English articles and offers practice. Grammar - Articles - When to use A, AN, or no article
There are a couple of very basic grammar rules you can follow to help you know when to use "a," "an," or no article.

The following video explains how articles ("a," "an," and "the") are used in English. "A," "an," and "the" are those tiny words we tend to forget about. They may sound simple, but there are Standard Edited American English rules of how to use these articles. This video teaches you how to use 'a', 'an', and 'the' correctly. Many English students make mistakes with these simple words (articles), so make sure you learn how to use them correctly.

Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.

You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.

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