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USE OF THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE 1. to denote a single specimen of a class (most common and true indefinite use) - some or article are used with plural nouns A man is here to see you. 2. to denote a class as a whole (classification) - nouns in plural have article. A lion is an animal. 3. in front of nouns that are parts of the predicate Roy Bean was a famous judge. 4. -with some non-countable nouns that are used as countable nouns (informal use) Id like a beer, please. -or with nouns that are determined by an adjective or a phrase They prepare a special coffee. A knowledge of law is necessary today. 5. in phrases with singular countable nouns after such, quite, half She has such a nice voice. He is quite a good student. We spent half an hour waiting for the bus. 6. in exclamatory sentences starting with what What a day this was! What an interesting film!

7. in certain numerical expressions: a dozen, a half, half a dozen, a lot of, a hundred, a thousand, a million 8. after some adverbs or adjectives: many a, rather a, quite a 9. in expressions a few - meaning a small number, a little -

meaning a small amount, a lot of, a great deal of, . . . 10. distributive use: once a day, 50 $ a head, 6o km an hour, 11. with family names referring to a certain (but unknown) person A Mr. Jones is looking for you.


in some prepositional phrases: in a hurry, as a rule, for a long time, as a matter of fact

USE OF THE DEFINITE ARTICLE 1. with nouns representing the only specimen of a class: the Moon, the Sun, the Pole, the Pope, the President (referring to the president of a defined state) . . . 2. with nouns that have already been mentioned and are thus identified (i.e., if there is a co-reference between these two nouns) A man is looking for you. The man says his name is Peter. 3. in front of nouns that are defined by an adjective, a (postmodifying) prepositional phrase, or a (post-modifying) relative clause The gray building is the County Court. The man in the hall is waiting for you. The woman who opened the door is his fifth wife. 4. in front of superlatives of adjectives and adverbs: the most expensive, the third, the greatest, . . . 5. in front of ordinal numbers: the first, the four thousand two hundred eighty fourth, . . . 6. with singular nouns representing a species The ant is very industrious. 7. with adjectives used as nouns with generic meaning: the young, the old, the rich, the brave, . . . 8. with geographical names of rivers, seas, oceans, mountains, groups of islands, with compound names of countries (containing the words Kingdom, Republic,

States, Union, ) names of countries in plural, geographic areas, forests, deserts, peninsulas and bays and most other names with an of-phrase (e.g. universities) the Themes, the Atlantic (Ocean), the Rocky Mountains, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Croatia, the United States, the European Union, the Netherlands, the Middle East 9. with family names referring to all members of the family (in plural) the Johnsons, the Smiths ZERO ARTICLE









substances): stone, wood, iron, glass. . ., mass nouns: oil, gas, water, air, ice, sugar, oxygen. . ., plural countable nouns with no post-modifiers: eggs 2. with names of most physical illnesses and disorders:

pneumonia, polio, influenza, acne, anemia, appendicitis, . . . /but: a fever, a cold, a headache; the plague, the flu. . ./ 3. in headlines, telegrams, notices, lists. . . Streets Crowded with Cars and Police Helpless Arrive airport Sunday 2 p.m. Been kept in library, meeting canceled. 4. in idioms: make friends, make haste, talk sense, play football, make love to, give way to, take revenge, shake hands, take part in, etc.


with names of people, towns, streets, mountains and peaks, singular names of countries: Paul, Italy, Carnaby Street, Warsaw, Mount

McKinley, etc. 2. with generally used abstract and uncountable nouns:

happiness, greed, love; tea, cotton, milk . . . 3. with names of meals: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, supper 4. with nouns used to denote the purpose of places, buildings, things: court, school, prison, market, bed, table. . . 5. in many phrases: by chance, by mistake, all in all, hand in hand, with respect to, in comparison with, in addition, on purpose, etc.