English Grammar Index
A, AN, THE
Points to Remember :
A & AN : indefinite articles
1. There lived a king
2. An elephant destroyed the field.
THE : definitive article
1. The boy stole my book.
2. Call the man in the next room.
Use of A / AN / THE :
A / AN means one. So we can use A / AN only with singular countable nouns.
AN is not used with plural nouns or proper nouns.
A / AN cannot be used with uncountable nouns.
For example, we CANNOT say : a milk, a water, a tea, a sugar, a rice, a sand
THE can be used with all nouns (singular or plural).
A & AN articles :
A should be used just before the singular words whose first letter is NOT one of the vowels. (A, E, I, O and U)
Examples : a table, a boy, a beautiful girl, a country, a book, a computer
AN should be used just before the singular words whose first letter is one of the vowels. (A, E, I, O and U)
Examples : an art, an elephant, an ink-bottles, an orange, an Umbrella.
AN should be used just before the singular words whose first letter is pronounced like one of the vowels. (A, E, I, O and U)
Examples : an hour, an honest, an hotel, an historical, an honour, an heroic, an heiress, an heir, an honourable
Take care to use AN in abbreviations beginning with the letters F, H, L, M, N, R, S and X.
Examples : an M.P., an M.A., an M.L.A, An F.R.C.S., an H.M.S. missionary, an L.M.S. school, an N.S.S. Volunteer, an R.M.S. office, an S.P. and an X-ray machine.
A should be used just before the singular words although whose first letter is one of the vowels (A, E, I, O and U), but NOT pronounced like that vowel.
Examples : a university, a union, a unit, a uniform, a usual plan, a unicorn, a usurper, a useful, a European, a one-rupee note, a one – legged man, a one-man tribunal, a one famous man
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