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The indefinite article: a/an

- the first time you mention a thing /
- when you say what something is.

- I saw an old man with a dog.

- with jobs.
- in exclamations with What...! + a
singular countable noun.
- in expressions like...

- She is a lawyer.
- What a nice day!

- Its a nice house

- three times a week / 1.5 pounds a kilo

The zero article

- to talk about a generic class of things
(with plural countable nouns).
- to talk about uncountable and abstract
- continents and countries
- mountains and lakes
- villages, towns, cities, streets, roads
- before meals, days, and months.
- in exclamations with What...! +
uncountable nouns.
- in some expressions:
at home / go home
in/to class
to/in/into/out of prison/hospital/bed
to/at/from work
by car / bus / bicycle /plane /train /
tube /boat
on foot
by accident/chance
- we say most people/ most books/
most cars... (not the most...) but the
majority of

- Bicycles are the most common means of
transport in Holland.
- Students are people who study.
- Books are expensive.
- Happiness isnt the only thing in life.
- Music makes me feel alive
- Africa, Nepal, etc.
- Mount Everest, Lake Titicaca, etc.
- London, Oxford Street, etc.
- I never have breakfast on Sunday.
- What nice weather!
- Shes not at home today.
- I get back from work at 9.30pm.
- Shes in hospital.

- Most hotels accept credit cards.

-with nationalities the plural of which

ends in s. (Italians, Mexicans, Turks):

- Italians are well-known for their pizzas and pasta.

- with names of most city

streets/roads/squares/parks, etc and
important public buildings and
institutions (for example, airports,
stations, ).

-Times Square.
- Oxford St.
- Hyde Park.

- we dont use the before noun +


Our train leaves from Platform 5


The definite article: the
- when we talk about something weve
already mentioned.

- I saw an old man with a dog, and the dog was barking.

- when there is only one of something.

-The Earth is our planet.

- the sun, the sky, the sea, the ground, the
- He opened the door.
- Put the books on the table
- Im going to the cinema / to the theatre.
- Its the best restaurant in town.
- The bicycle was invented about 200 years ago.
- I hate the telephone.
-The giraffe is the tallest of all animals.
-The piano is my favourite instrument.

- when its clear what youre referring to.

- with places in a town, e.g. cinema, theatre
- with superlatives
- to talk about a generic class of things (with
singular countable nouns)
- We use the + singular countable noun to
talk about a type of animal, machine,
musical instrument.
- with plural nouns that are postmodified
- with uncountable nouns that are
- with oceans, seas, rivers, canals and
- with plural mountain ranges and island
- with continents and countries whose
name includes a common noun
- with national groups
- with adjectives functioning as nouns
referring to a group of people (the young,
the rich, the sick, the blind, the old, the
poor, the disabled, the deaf, the elderly, the
homeless, the injured, the dead)
- before same meaning igual.
-before radio but not before television
- We write the when it is a specific place
and when we go for something that they are
not used for (school, prison, hospital,
university, college, church )
- with plural names of people and places
- most buildings have article

- with nationality adjectives that end in ch

or sh (the French, the English, the
- with nationality words ending in ese (the
Chinese, the Japanese...)

- The students sitting there are waiting for the

- I dont like the music that you like
- The Atlantic, the Thames, the Sahara, etc.
- The Andes, the British Isles, etc.
- the Czech Republic, the US, the UK, etc.
- The English, the French, the Spanish, etc.
- The homeless are people who live in the streets.
- The old sometimes are ignored by the young.

-Are these keys the same? (iguals)

-I listen to the radio but I dont watch television much.
-Can you turn off the television, please? (=the
television set)
- Alison is at school now but her mum wants to see
Alisons teacher, she goes to the school. (Alisons goes
at school because she is studying, but her mother
The Johnsons (Family)
The Philippines
-Hotels/restaurants: The Sheraton Hotel
The Palace Theatre
The Guggenheim Museum
-Other buildings:
The Empire State
-The French are famous for their food.
**The French, the English... are plural in meaning. We
dont say a French, you have to say a Frenchman.
-The Chinese invented printing.