Learn English for competitive exams online


Learn English for competitive exams online


Hi friends, today we are going to discuss the topic “English Articles”. This is one of the important topics which is usually in many exams, even you will get question about this in competitive exams. I have seen that many people struggle to learn the English Articles, if you are one among them then today I will clear your all the doubts here.

What is the meaning of Articles?


The articles are nothing but the words which are used before “noun”. There are two types of articles – definite and indefinite. Definite article is “the”. Indefinite articles are “a” and “an”.

Where to use the Definite/Indefinite articles?

Use of Definite article (the):

  • Definite article is  used for the noun when you are talking or pointing out  particular thing. For example, “The book”, “The Red Car” etc.

Here one more thing you should keep in mind that if you are talking about something and if you have already mentioned about that “noun” then next time when you use that noun then you should use “the” article.  For example- “There was a crow, it was looking for water. The crow was very thirsty”. Here in the first sentence we have used indefinite article, and in second sentence we have used the definite article because in second sentence we are talking about that particular crow which we have already mentioned in the first line.

  • Definite article is used before the plural. For example- The Books, The Pencils, The Bags etc.
  • Definite article is used to refer positions of people or objects which are unique. For example- The Sun, The Moon, The Sky,  example for positions – The Prime Minister, The CEO etc.
  • Definite article is used before proper nouns such as rivers, mountains, oceans, geographical areas etc. For example- The Ganga (river), The Atlantic, The Himalayas (mountains).

Use of Indefinite articles (a or an):

  • Indefinite articles are used to refer the “noun” in general. For example-a book, a car, an apple etc. here you do not know particular which book or which car (it is indefinite).
  • Article “a” is used before the noun which starts with consonant sounds. For example – a car ( here “C” is a consonant.
  • Article “an” is used before the noun which starts with vowel sound. For example- an Apple (A, E, I, O, U are vowel sounds).


The main problem: 

How and when to use (a or an)??

“An” and “a” depends on the sound of the noun which we produce while pronouncing the words.

For example – “An MCQ”, here the first alphabet is “M” (constant) but still we use “an” article here. Because we pronounce “MCQ” as “em- see-que”, here the first pronouncing sound is vowel sound “e”. 

question bazaarIn simple words, as in Hindi Varnamala, we have “a, aa, i, ee…………..am, aha”, if any noun which are  pronounced with these starting Hindi Varnamala letters then we must use “An” article.  And if the English words are pronounced with the other Hindi Varnamala letters such as ( ka, kha, ga,……….ha, la, ksha,dnya) then we must use “A” article before those words. For example “A University”, (yu-ni-ver-city),here the first pronouncing sound is “yu”.

Other rules of using “The” articles:

There are also some other specific rules for using “the” articles which you should keep in your mind.

  • You should use “the” article to refer the whole group of people. For example- the rich, the poor, the French etc
  • If you are taking about decades then you must use “the” article. For example- She was born in the nineties (90’s), this temple is here from the 1830’s.
  •  “The” articles should be used before superlatives. For example- The highest score, the tallest person.
  • “The” articles are used for ordinal numbers. For example-last, second, third etc. (The last episode, the second time, She is the third person).
  • “the” is used before the word “only” (when clauses introduced by “only”) for example-she is the only person who cares for me, this is the only way to do it.
  • “the” is always used with newspaper names, for example- The Hindu, The New York Times etc.

So, these are all the rules of using articles. I hope all of you have understood all the points here. If you have any doubts then put it in the comment section, we are here to help you.

Today’s homework:

Write one sentence which includes all the articles (a, an and the). Write or comment below if we found any mistake in your sentence then we will help you to correct it and help you to improve your English .


  1. Ranju

    Very very informative. Thank you so much for this post.

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