A / An / The
a / an
I have glasses.
Or….I have a pair of glasses
You have a hat.
(singular count noun)
But….the second time you describe the hat, you say:
The hat is blue.
He has some strawberries.
(plural count noun)
The strawberries are in his mouth (second mention).
She has a popsicle.
(singular count noun)
The popsicle tastes good!
Popsicles taste good.
The cat has some water.
(Water is a non-count noun)
The water is in a bowl. The bowl is purple.
We have time to learn English.
(time and Englishare noncount nouns. Sometimes the is used; sometimes it isn’t.)
| I + you = we|
They have a good relationship.
(relationship is a singular count noun)
All three children have popsicles.
The popsicles taste good.
(Popsicle is a plural count noun)
Click here for a video about using “a” or “an.”
Click here for a video about using “the.”
There are a lot of rules for articles:
1. Don’t put an article in front of the name of a place.
Correct: Minneapolis is a great city.
But it’s correct to use the name of a place as an adjective:
The Minneapolis skyline is beautiful at night.
2. Indefinite amounts or general qualities don’t take an article.
Pennies are made of copper.
The copper in this penny is turning brown.(this is a specific amount)
Water is good for you.
The water in this glass tastes bad. (this is a specific amount)
3. Don’t use an article with possessive nouns or pronouns.
Directions: Fill in the blank space with the correct article: “a” or “the”
1. ________ coffee I made isn’t very good.
2. I need to buy ______ new car. (any car)
3. I can’t see ________ sun.
4. This is _________ first time for me.
5. Do you want to see ______ movie today? (any movie)
6. Mary goes to ________ very good school.
7. I put gas into __________ car. (my car / my family’s car)
8. _______ bus that I take every day stops right here.
9. That is _______ very large truck.
10. Some of ________ apples I got at the store are bad.
Directions: Fill in the blank with “a” or “an.”
1. She saw ______ friend in class.
2. ______ apple a day keeps the doctor away.
3. My teacher has ______ big classroom.
4. Jose drives _______ hour to and from work every day.
5. Is that _______ fresh apple, or is it _______ old apple?
6. That is _______ good way to learn English.
7. Christine is _______ honest person.
8. We once owned _______ house in Minneapolis.
9. Do you want to take _______ English class?
10. There’s ______ cracked egg in the egg carton.
Directions: Fill in the blank with “the” or “–” (nothing). Some of these sentences don’t require “the.”
1. There was a lot of _______ rain last night.
2. _______ rain came down hard last night.
3. ________ history of Mexico is very interesting.
4. I like to study ________ history.
5. _________ medicine I took is making me dizzy.
6. I got some ________ medicine at the store.
7. They used to live in ________ United States.
8. _______ city of Chicago is very big.
9. I like to study ______ English.
10. ______ English language is very difficult.
(*Remember that some words in some situations don’t use an article)