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The article




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Singular nouns and jobs

Use a/an with a singular noun to mention something for the first time.

e.g. He works for a TV company.

Use a/an also to talk about a person’s job.

e.g. He’s a newsreader.

Use an, not a, when the noun begins with a vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u): anartist.

But note that some words that begin with the letter -h take anand we do not say the letter –h : anhour.

People or things in general

Use no article with plural nouns, when they refer to people or things in general.

e.g.Soap operas are boring.

Particular or known people and things

Use the with a singular noun to talk about a specific person or thing, or one we already know about.

e.g.Thelocal newspaper doesn’t have much news.

(=There’s only one local newspaper.)

Put the flowers on thetable. (=We know which table.)

Use the with plural nouns to refer to particular or known people or things.

e.g. I really like thephotos in this magazine. (=specific photos.)

e.g.Thepeople at the party were all very friendly. ǝ(=We know which people.)

!!!Note the difference between general and specific use.

General: soap operasare boring

Specific: but the soap operason channel 4 are quite interesting.

We usually say the with the /ǝ/: the journalist, but before a vowel, it is the strong form /i:/: the article.

First and second mention

Use a/an (with singular nouns) and no article (with plural nouns) to talk about something for the first time.

e.g. He works for aTV company.

e.g. He produces documentaries.

Use the when you mention the noun again.

e.g.TheTV company is in the centre of London.

e.g.Thedocumentaries he produces are historical.

Articles with the media

We usually use the when we talk about the media.

e.g. I heard it on theradio.

e.g.I use theinternet every day.

But note:

Did you see that programme on TV last night?

 







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