It’s much too hot to think of heavy studying right now! So I thought I’d pick a lighter topic for this Weekly. It’s those pesky English articles. Try the cloze paragraph exercise below, A Day at the Beach.
First, let’s review five basic article rules.
1. The indefinite articles, “a” and “an” are used before singular nouns, not plural nouns. “A” is used before nouns starting with a consonant sound, for example, a swimming suit, a bottle of sunscreen. “An” is used before words starting with a vowel sound, like an egg or an honest person.
2. The definite article “the” can go before either singular or plural nouns, for example, I dove from the diving board, or I dove from all the diving boards.
3. For words we don’t know the amount of, such as silver or gold, intelligence or honesty, we don’t use any article. For example, “Silver is used to make beautiful Navajo jewellery. Or, “Honesty is a good quality to have in a friend.”
4. When we do know the amount, we use “the”, the definite article. For example, “The silver needed to make this ring isn’t much.”
5. The last rule for now is this. Articles aren’t used before countries, cities, towns, provinces or states, and people’s names. For example, “The Jennifer is sitting by the pond in the New Westminster in the British Columbia in the Canada.” To make this sentence right we’d have to -? Right! Take out the articles.
Fill-in-the-Blank Quiz on Articles (includes a hint that reviews the rules for each gap!)
(Includes all 2002 to date Weekly Features with descriptions)