Video Lecture On Article
The articles in English grammar
In order to write and speak correct English, it is imperative that the student should master the use of all parts of speech such as pronoun and article. here we learn the definite and the indefinite article. Generally speaking student commit the following types of mistakes in the use of the article:-
- They do not put the definite article where it is required.
- They put the definite article where it is not required.
- They do not put the indefinite article before a common noun in the singular.
- They place the indefinite article before an abstract or a material noun.
Articles in English grammar
There are two articles in the English language A or An and the.
- The is called the definite Article
- A or an is known as the indefinite Article
The use of definite article in English grammar
There are number of rules define the use of definite article in grammar
Grammar Rule 1
The’ (the definite article) is used when we wish to particularize a noun; that is, when we wish to distinguish a particular thing from a number of similar things.
For example, if we wish to distinguish a certain boy from other boys, we should say, the boy. “life is short and art is long.”
I want a girl with curly hair.
I want the girl with curly hair.
In the first second sentence the girl means a particular girl (and no other) who has curly hair.
Salim saw a horse in a jungle.
The horse which Salim was riding felt tired in the first sentence a horse means any horse. In the second sentence, the horse means one particular horse which Salim was riding.
Wheat is grown in Pakistan.
The wheat that is grown in Pakistan in superior to the wheat that grown in Russia.
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Grammar Rule 2
The (the definite article) is placed before a common noun that has been mentioned before.
When a common noun which has been mentioned before is repeated, it must be preceded by the definite article.
A beggar went to a miser and requested him to give him a pace. The miser said to the beggar, “Get out, I will not give you anything,” at this the beggar began to curse the miser.
In this example, ‘the’ is placed before the words ‘miser’ and ‘beggar’ because they have been mentioned before.
Use “the” before a common noun when that noun is used to indicate a class.
For instance, one bird may be made to represent the entire class, or one beast may be made to represent the entered species.
- The dog is a faithful animal.
- The cat is a domestic pet.
- The peacock is a beautiful bird.
- The lion is a noble beast.
Grammar Rule 4
Use; the before the names of rivers.
- The Ganges; the Indus; the Danube.
Grammar Rule 5.
Use ‘the’ before the names of groups of inland.
- The Andaman Islands, the East Indies.
Grammar Rule 6.
Use ‘the’ before the names of ranges of mountains.
- The Alps; the Himalayas; the Vindhyas.
Grammar Rule 7
‘The’ is placed before the names of oceans, seas, bays, gulfs and straits:
- The Indian Ocean; the Mediterranean Sea; the Bay of Bengal; the Persian Gulf; the straits Dover.
Grammar Rule 8
‘The’ is usually place before the proper names of books.
- ; The Quran; the Bible; the Ramayana; the Mahabharata.
- But if a book is called after its author, the article is not used; as “I have read Shakespeare.”
Grammar Rule 9
‘The’ is placed before certain things which are unique in nature.
- The moon; the sun; the sky; the earth.
Grammar Rule 10
‘The’ is placed before the superlative degree of an adjective.
- He is the best boy in the class.
- She is the cleverest of all girls.
‘the’ is placed before the names of certain newspapers and magazines.
The Pakistan Times, the Tribune, the Statesman, the Times, the Modem Review.
‘The’ is placed before the word ‘Punjab’ because it is a meaningful name.
- We must say ‘the punjab’ and not Punjab.
‘The’ is placed before adjectives used as noun in the plural sense.
- The rich do not generally care for the poor.
- The wise never look down upon the foolish.
‘The’ is used in such sentences as:
- The sooner you go, the better it is.
- The more, the merrier.
- The faster, the better.
Use ‘the’ when you idiomatically liken a proper name to another or use as a common noun.
- Saba is the Shakespeare of Pakistan.
- Goethe is the Shakespeare of Germany.
Where the Definite Article is not used
When a common noun is used in the plural number, the definite article should not be placed before it, unless it is meant to be particularized.
- We should say:
- Cows are grazing.
- Dogs bark.
- Students are playing in the field.
- As a rule the girls are more hard-working than boys
‘the’ is not placed before the names of (1) towns, (2) capes, (3)names of countries, (4) names of continents, (5) names of single islands, (6) names of lakes, (7) names of single mountains.
- He lives in London. (2) Cape Comorin is situated to the south of India. (3) India is a thickly populated country. (4) Asia is a vast continent. (5) Sicily has been the cradle of Islamic civilization. (6) Lake Sambhar is situated in Rajputana. (7) Everes is the highest mountain in the world.
As a general rule a proper noun should not have ‘the’ placed before it. The exceptions to this rule have been illustrated already.
‘The’ is not placed before abstract nouns.
- Jealousy is an evil passion.
- Honesty is the best policy.
‘The’ is not placed before material nouns.
- Gold is a precious metal.
- This cup is made of silver.
‘The’ is not used before a common noun used in a general sense.
- Man is mortal.
- Science is helping war.
‘The’ is generally not used before a combination of an adjective and an abstract noun.
- Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar was opposed to British Imperialism (not the British Imperalism).
- In the carlier stages of his political career, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was an advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity (not the Hindu-Muslim unity).
‘The’ is not used before names of titles or professions when they precede a proper Noun.
- Queen Elizabeth (not the Queen Elizabeth, King Edward VIII (NOT THE King Edward VIII), General Smuts (not the General Smuts), Lord Tennyson (not the Lord Tennyson).
‘The’ is not used in certain well-established.
- The boys leave school (not the school) at two o’clock.
- Jamil sent word that he was ill (not sent the word)
‘The’ is not used before the name of diseases.
- He died of cholera (not the cholera).
- Plague is a fatal disease (not the plague).
‘The’ is not placed before adjectives used as nouns and signifying languages and colours.
- English, French, German, Yellow, Blue, etc, Hence, we say:
- He knows French (not the French).
- He is learning German (not the German).
- I prefer blue to yellow (not the yellow).
‘The’ is not placed before Roman numerals.
- George V, Alamgir II
THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE A AND AN.
If we wish to generalize noun, we use the indefinite article.
- A tiger is fierce animal (that is any tiger; or tigers generally).
- A fox is a cunning animal.
- A cat is not as faithful as a dog.
As a general rule, a common noun in the singular number should have an indefinite article (“a” or “an”) placed before it.
We use the indefinite article before a combination of an adjective and a common noun the singular number.
- He is rich man.
- She is a beautiful girl.
- You are a clever boys
- It was a wonderful dream.
We may use the indefinite article with superlative degree of adjective “much” (most) when we used the superlative degree in the sense of ‘very’.
Thus we may say:
- This is a most amusing story.
- This is a most fantastic piece of news.
The indefinite article is not used before an abstract or material noun.
Thus it is wrong to say: he sue for a peace. We should say, he sued for pease.
But it is correct to say a gold ring, a wheat bread.
In these expressions the material nouns, gold and wheat have been used as adjectives.
‘An’ is generally used before a noun beginning with a vowel or before a silent ‘H’
Thus we should say:
(1) An ox. (2) An eye. (3) An ear. (4) An heir. ‘H’ is silent in this word. It is to be pronounced as ‘air’. (5) An honorable man. (6) An honest man.
‘An’ is not used before ‘U’ when is pronounced as ‘you’.
Thus we should say:
A University (and not a University). A useful thing (not a useful thing). Aeuropean (not an European).
‘An’ is not used before “O” when pronounced as ‘we’
A one-eyed man (and not a one-eyed man). A one-sided affair (not an one-sided affair).
Use ‘an’ before an aspirated H, when the accent in on the second syllable.
- An historical account.
- In this example, ‘H’ is aspirated (that is, it is not silent, it is pronounced) and the accent is on the second syllable
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