5 Steps to Mastering Articles (a, an, and the)

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Alesa 英语
2016年12月20日
375
2 分钟
Whether a beginner or advanced, misusing articles is one of the most common mistakes my students make. Articles often don’t exist in other languages, so when a learner translates directly from their language to English they almost always forget to add an article.

Learning when to use articles is simple and can be taught in 5 simple steps.

Step 1 - Understanding counting nouns.

A counting noun is simply a noun that you can count or have more than one of. For example 2 apples, three cups, 4 pens, 1 dog. If you can have more than one of something it’s a counting noun and it needs an article in front of it. If you can’t have more than one then it’s an uncountable noun. Can you give someone 3 advices? No. Advice is not countable.

Step 2- Articles go in from of countable nouns.

Correct- I read a book. Incorrect- I read book.
Correct- We’re getting a dog today. Incorrect- We’re getting dog today.

Step 3 - When to use "an"

We only use an when the next word starts with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u)
Correct- I’m getting an iphone. Incorrect- I’m getting a ipone. I’m getting iphone
Correct- I would like an apple. Incorrect- I would like a apple. I would like apple.

Step 4- When to use "the"

We use the when we’re talking about something specific, obvious, or something the people in the conversation already know about.

Talking about something specific- This is when you are only referring to one particular thing. For example. I will see you at the football game. (This refers to a game that both people in the conversation already know about). I will see you at a football game. (This refers to any football game).
I’m going into the building. (a particular building) I’m going into a building (a general, non specific building).

We will often start a conversation using "a", and then switch to "the" as the subject becomes familiar.
I took a train to New York. The train was late.
I saw a man wearing that coat. The man went down the street.

Step 5- Don’t use a or an with plural nouns.

Correct- I have 2 apples. Incorrect- I have apples. I have 2 an apples. I have an apples.
Correct- I made 3 sandcastles. Incorrect- I made sandcastles. I made 3 an sandcastles. I made an sandcastles.

However you can use the if you are talking about something specific.
I have the apples.
I made the sand castles.

Hopefully these five steps will make it easier for you to understand when to use articles.

英语 Tutor Alesa
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Alesa

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新老师
Flag 英语
美国
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英语
母语
Hi, My name is Alesa and I’m from the US. I have been teaching students English and Reading for the past 7 years. I’ve taught in the classroom and I’ve also taught 1 on 1. I also teach English as a second language online. In this capacity I have taught over 200 students of all levels. I regularly help students prepare for the ILETS and TOEFEL exams. I have taught students from all over the world. I provide customized sessions that are tailored to your ability and your goals, and taught at your pace. I believe that to truly learn English you must go beyond simply memorizing the rules of grammar. Your lessons must be tailored to your needs and abilities so that everyday you make significant progress, and retain the information you learn and eventually English will become natural to you.
$15.00
USD/h
Flag 英语
美国
新的!
英语
母语
Hi, My name is Alesa and I’m from the US. I have been teaching students English and Reading for the past 7 years. I’ve taught in the classroom and I’ve also taught 1 on 1. I also teach English as a second language online. In this capacity I have taught over 200 students of all levels. I regularly help students prepare for the ILETS and TOEFEL exams. I have taught students from all over the world. I provide customized sessions that are tailored to your ability and your goals, and taught at your pace. I believe that to truly learn English you must go beyond simply memorizing the rules of grammar. Your lessons must be tailored to your needs and abilities so that everyday you make significant progress, and retain the information you learn and eventually English will become natural to you.

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