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Articles a / the/ -

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A / AN / THEThe use of articles

Use a /an

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We use a/an when we mention something for the first time. - I saw an old woman with a dog in the park.We use a/an to talk about people’s jobs or to say what kind of person or thing something/somebody is. - Paula is a teacher. - Paris is an interesting city. - When I was a teenager, I enjoyed sleeping.Note that you cannot use singular countable nouns alone (without a, the, my etc.) - I don’t have a driving license (NOT I don’t have driving license) - This hotel doesn’t have a spa. (NOT This hotel doesn’t have spa.)

Use "the"

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We use the when we mention something for the second time. - A man and a woman sat in front of me. The man was British, but I think the woman wasn’t.We use the to talk about specific things or people; when it’s clear which things or people we are talking about. - ‘Where are the kids?’ ‘They’re in the garden.’ (=We know which kids and which garden.) - Can you open the door? (=We know which door.)We use the when there’s only one of something. - This company is very profitable. The manager must be really good. - I’d like to live in this country, but not in the capital. - The moon looks beautiful today.

Use "the"

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With places in a town where we commonly go (the park, the cinema, the doctor, etc.) - I’m going to the bank. - I found Peter at the station. - I’m at the library. We use the before superlative adjectives. - This is the best restaurant in town.We use the before names of musical instruments. - Margaret plays the guitar and I play the flute.

Use no article

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We do not use an article before plural or uncountable nouns to talk about something in general.I don’t drink milk.Women drive more cautiously than men. Compare: I love music. (=Music in general.)I loved the music at the party. (=Specific music.) Children are often difficult. (=Children in general.)They are a nice family. The children are very funny. (=The children in that family.)

We do not use an article before names of meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner. - Dinner is served at 8. - I always have breakfast with my children.We do not use an article before names of years, months and days of the week. - Friday is my favourite day of the week. - I think 2020 will be an excellent year.We do not use an article with TV (when used as a broadcasting service, NOT as an appliance) - I saw it on TV. - I don’t watch TV.But: Turn off the TV. I’ve bought a new TV.

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Use no article

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We do not use an article before names of languages and school subjects.He doesn’t speak English.I study biology.We do not use an article before next and last + time expression (when they mean before or after now).The meeting is next Thursday.I saw him last week.BUTLast year we spend one week in London (Last year= the year before now). We really loved London.The last day we were really sad. (The last day= the last day of that trip. NOT the day before now)

Use no article

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