Sunteți pe pagina 1din 4

00:02

a tale of two elephants.


00:04
In order to get at the idea
00:06
of this thing called the article.
00:08
We'll explain what that is after I tell you about
00:11
the elephant and an elephant.
00:18
Now articles are words like "a" or "an" or "the".
00:23
Articles are a kind of adjective,
00:25
some people would call them a determiner,
00:27
that help you figure out how important something is.
00:32
Or how specific something is.
00:35
So, articles.
00:37
What articles do is they tell you whether
00:39
or not something is specific.
00:45
Are you thinking about any old elephant
00:48
when you talk about an elephant,
00:49
or are you thinking about one elephant in particular?
00:52
The elephant.
00:54
And this is the difference.
00:56
When we're talking about the elephant
00:58
we're talking about a specific elephant.
01:00
We have particular one in mind.
01:02
This what's called the definite.
01:05
Because it defines what we're talking about.
01:11
You know, this elephant could be the queen of the elephants.
01:15
Sometimes, when we make sentences
01:16
we want to aim for that kind of precision.
01:18
We want to be precise.
01:20
We want to know exactly what we're talking
01:22
and who we're talking about and why.
01:25
That's a case where you would use the word "the".
01:29
Now if you're not being specific.
01:32
If you're talking about any old elephant.
01:35
An elephant that you're not especially familiar with.
01:37
An elephant you haven't introduced before.
01:39
You would say "an" elephant,
01:43
because it's not specific...
01:48
and it's undefined.
01:50
So, grammarians call that an indefinite article.
01:59
When you know who and what you are talking about
02:02
for sure you say "the".
02:03
And when you're not sure, you say "a" or "an".
02:07
So if you knew you were talking about a specific elephant.
02:12
Say for example the queen of the elephants.
02:15
The queen.
02:21
As indicated by her royal crown, you would say "the".
02:25
And if you were talking about any old elephant?
02:28
You'd say "an". You'd use the indefinite article.
02:33
We'll cover this more later.
02:35
I just wanted to give you an introduction
02:37
to the idea of what an article is.
02:39
So "the" for specific, "a" or "an" for nonspecific.
02:44
You can learn anything, David out.
basic idea that divides the usage
00:04
of "the" from "a" and "an".
00:06
"The" is the definite article,
00:11
and "a" or "an" is the indefinite.
00:14
So when you're being non-specific
00:16
in language,
00:17
you would use
00:18
the indefinite article
00:19
as in,
00:20
"May I have
00:26
an orange?"
00:30
Cause it doesn't matter
00:32
which orange you're asking for,
00:35
you don't care,
00:35
it's any orange,
00:36
as opposed to if you wanted
00:38
the orange.
00:43
This usage is much more specific,
00:45
and it seems to indicate that there is only
00:47
one orange.
00:50
You see the orange in particular that you want,
00:53
you're identifying it,
00:54
you're asking for it.
00:55
That's what this definite usage is.
00:58
Something that's interesting about
01:00
the word "the"
01:01
is that it can be used for both singular
01:03
and plural nouns.
01:09
So it's both singular and plural.
01:12
So you could say
01:13
"May I have the orange?"
01:13
You could also say
01:14
"May I have the oranges?"
01:17
And "a" and "an" does not really allow this,
01:19
it is only singular.
01:23
So you can't say
01:24
"May I have an oranges?"
01:28
This is not standard.
01:30
What you'd probably say instead is
01:32
"May I have some oranges?"
01:36
So this is not standard,
01:39
does not work in standard American English.
01:43
The other thing about "a" or "an"
01:44
is that it's "a" or "an".
01:47
The indefinite article changes
01:50
depending on the vowel sound
01:51
that comes after it.
01:53
So changes for vowel sounds.
01:59
Now what does that mean?
02:02
Well it means that if you know
02:04
that word that you're going to say next
02:07
like ah or ooh or eh or uh or ee,
02:14
then you're gonna change it to "an".
02:16
So it's the difference between saying
02:18
"A box,"
02:22
and
02:22
"An apple."
02:26
What we don't say
02:27
in standard American English
02:28
is "a apple."
02:32
It's not as easy on the mouth, frankly,
02:34
it takes a little bit more effort.
02:36
And any linguist will tell you
02:37
that the way languages develop
02:39
is that they reward laziness.
02:42
So we say "a box"
02:43
but we say "an apple."
02:46
Something a little weird though,
02:48
you want to make sure
02:49
that you're looking for vowel sounds
02:50
not just for vowels.
02:53
Because some vowels,
02:55
for example,
02:56
the letter U
02:57
don't always produce "ooh" sounds.
03:00
Sometimes if they're at the beginning of a word,
03:02
like in word union,
03:03
so if you say "a union,"
03:06
that produces a "yuh" sound,
03:09
and "yuh" is technically a consonant sound.
03:12
That's not a vowel.
03:14
But there are certainly cases like
03:17
"An underwater boat,"
03:19
where the letter U does produce
03:22
an "ooh" or an "uh" sound,
03:24
and that's a vowel.
03:25
So if you're gonna start the word
03:26
with a vowel sound,
03:28
what you wanna do is choose
03:29
"an" instead of "a"
03:31
but just be careful of the letter U for example.
03:35
So to recap,
03:36
"the" is the definite article.
03:38
You can use it for both singular and plural usage.
03:41
"May I have the orange?"
03:43
"May I have the oranges?"
03:45
"A" or "an" is indefinite
03:47
and it's only singular,
03:48
so you can say
03:49
"May I have an orange?"
03:50
or
03:51
"May I have some oranges?"
03:55
Before a vowel sound,
03:56
"a" changes to "an"
03:58
so you say "a box,"
04:01
but "an apple".
04:03
Not "a apple."
04:05
You say "a union,"
04:07
but "an underwater boat."
04:10
You can learn anything.
04:11
David out.
English - Default