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Article Usage. Explanation and Practice. Nouns: Count or Non-Count?. Determine if the noun is countable or not. Cat -C Water - NC Oil - NC Olive- C Boy -C. Cat Water Oil Olive Boy. Countable Nouns: Singular or Plural?. Determine if the noun is singular or plural. A cat -S

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article usage

Article Usage

Explanation and Practice

nouns count or non count
Nouns: Count or Non-Count?
  • Determine if the noun is countable or not.

Cat -C

Water - NC

Oil - NC

Olive- C

Boy -C

Cat

Water

Oil

Olive

Boy

countable nouns singular or plural
Countable Nouns: Singular or Plural?
  • Determine if the noun is singular or plural.

A cat -S

Olives - P

A boy -S

Cat

Olives

Boy

Cat -S

Olives- P

Boy -S

  • If the noun is singular, it must have an article in front of it!
countable nouns definite or indefinite
Countable Nouns – Definite or Indefinite?
  • Determine if the countable noun is definite or not.
  • To make this decision, is the noun known to both the writer/speaker and the reader/listener?
  • If it is known to both, use “the” (for singular or plural).

The cat that lives under our front porch is skinny.

A boy is walking along the street.

___cat that lives under our front porch is skinny.

____boy is walking along the street.

countable nouns definite or indefinite5
Countable Nouns – Definite or Indefinite?
  • Determine if the countable noun is definite or not.
  • To make this decision, is the noun known to both the writer/speaker and the reader/listener?
  • If it is known to both, use “the”
  • If it is unknown to both and SINGULAR, use an indefinite article.
  • If it unknown to both and PLURAL, no article is necessary.
countable nouns definite or indefinite6
Countable Nouns – Definite or Indefinite?
  • Examples:

___cat that lives under our front porch is skinny.

____boy is walking along the street.

____cats make good companions.

____ boys that live next door are rambunctious.

The cat that lives under our front porch is skinny.

A boy is walking along the street.

Cats make good companions.

The boys that live next door are rambunctious.

non count nouns definite or indefinite
Non-Count Nouns – Definite or Indefinite?
  • If the non-count noun is indefinite (in general), no article is necessary.
  • If the non-count noun is definite (known), use “the”

___ water covers the earth.

____water in the tea kettle is hot.

____traffic on my way home is annoying.

____traffic is annoying.

Water covers the earth.

The water in the tea kettle is hot.

The traffic on my ride home is annoying.

Traffic is annoying.

geographical uses of the
Geographical Uses of The
  • Do not usethebefore:
    • names of countries (Italy, Mexico, Bolivia) except the Netherlands and the US
    • names of cities, towns, or states (Seoul, Manitoba, Miami)
    • names of streets (Washington Blvd., Main St.)
    • names of lakes and bays (Lake Titicaca, Lake Erie) except with a group of lakes like the Great Lakes
    • names of mountains (Mount Everest, Mount Fuji) except with ranges of mountains like the Andes or the Rockies or unusual names like the Matterhorn
    • names of continents (Asia, Europe)
    • 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:
    • names of rivers, oceans and seas (the Nile, the Pacific)
    • points on the globe (the Equator, the North Pole)
    • geographical areas (the Middle East, the West)
    • deserts, forests, gulfs, and peninsulas (the Sahara, the Persian Gulf, the Black Forest, the Iberian Peninsula)  

From the OWL at Perduehttp://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/print/esl/eslartEX1.html

practice exercises
Practice Exercises

Directions: Fill in the blank with the appropriate article, a, an, or the, or leave the space

blank if no article is needed.

  • 1. I want ____ apple from that basket.
  • 2. ____ church on the corner is progressive.
  • 3. Miss Lin speaks ____ Chinese.
  • 4. I borrowed ____ pencil from your pile of pencils and pens.
  • 5. One of the students said, "____ professor is late today."
  • 6 Eli likes to play ____ volleyball.
  • 7. I bought ____ umbrella to go out in the rain.
  • 8. My daughter is learning to play ____ violin at her school.
  • 9. Please give me ____ cake that is on the counter.
  • 10. I lived on ____ Main Street when I first came to town.
  • 11. Albany is the capital of ____ New York State.
  • 12. My husband's family speaks ____ Polish.
  • 13. ____ apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  • 14. ____ ink in my pen is red.
  • 15. Our neighbors have ____ cat and ____ dog.

From the OWL at Perduehttp://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/print/esl/eslartEX1.html

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