Pearson Adult Learning Centre Home
Pearson Adult Learning Centre
  Weekly Feature: May 17, 2004


Using Articles in Grammar (Part 2)
L's Weekly Feature



In keeping with most other English language rules, rule #1 from last week: “A singular noun must always have an article,” also has exceptions. The following four sentences demonstrate some of these exceptions.

1. Jack has one house in Canada and two houses in Europe.
2. His house in Canada is very big.
3. Many people are amazed by the size of Jacks house.
4. My daughter has watched this movie five times.

To accommodate these exceptions, let’s revise Rule #1 to:

Rule #1 (revised): Singular count nouns must be preceded by articles, quantifiers, possessive forms, or demonstratives.

Quantifiers are usually numbers. In the case of a singular count noun, the only number that can work is “one”. With plural count nouns, you can use any number greater than one. For example: “Jack has three houses and ten million dollars.”

Possessive forms can be of two types: possessive pronouns and nouns with possessive apostrophes.

We can use the following possessive pronouns with singular count nouns: my, your, his, her, its, their, and our.

My sister talked to your brother about his story of her pet dog. Its title was: “How a Dog Saved My Life.” Their opinion is that a dog can be our best friend.

Be careful not to use these possessive pronouns: mine, ours, yours, hers, and theirs. These pronouns are never attached to another noun. Compare the two examples that follow: 1. This book is mine 2. This is my book.

Nouns with possessive apostrophes can be formed by using either a common noun or a proper noun as can be seen in this example: My sister’s dog is the hero of Jack’s story.

Demonstratives are limited to this and that with singular count nouns. For example: This story reminds me of a story I read about many years ago. The dog in that story was a collie named Lassie.

Try a Practice Quiz on Articles

Visit Last Week's Feature:
Using Articles in Grammar: Part 1


 Weekly Feature Index (Includes all 2002-2004 Weekly Features with descriptions)


Return to Top



Visit our Contact Us page to send email to the centre.
Copyright © 1997 to 2009 Pearson Adult Learning Centre, New Westminster School District 40
Web Site Created by The Educated Web
Last modified: July 31, 2009