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Articles: A, An, The

A, An mean One

A precedes a singular countable noun beginning with consonant sound:

A teacher, a lake, a city

An is used before a singular countable noun beginning with vowel sound :

An apple, an egg, an orange

But a university (“u” here is long)

The is used to denote something already known or is common knowledge


I saw a boy. The boy was playing tennis.

The moon goes around the sun.

Use The with

· Earth, moon: the earth, the moon

· Ranges of mountains: the Himalaya, thee Rocky Mountains

· Ocean , seas, rivers, plural lakes, gulfs: the pacific ocean, the red sea, the Mediterranean, the Great lakes, the Oman gulf

· Ordinal numbers before nouns: the second page, the first lesson

· Decades : the 1970’s , the 1990’s

· Schools, colleges, universities, when the phrase begins with school , college , university.. e.g The college of science, the university of Cairo

· Wars ( except world wars) : the Vietnam War, the Crimean War

· Certain countries with more than one word: the U.S.A , the U.A.E ( but
Great Britain

· Ethnic groups : the Japanese, the Indians

· Historical documents : the constitution , the Magna Carta

Do not use The with

· Lunch, breakfast, home, market, school, hospital, church

· Cardinal numbers after nouns: section four, lesson two

· Countries with one word: Germany, France, Egypt, India

· Sports: football, basketball, tennis….

· Abstract nouns: library, beauty, honestly

· Mount: Mount Everest, Mount Vesuvius

· Singular lakes: lake superior, lake Geneva….

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