(See Article Chart for more information.)
Singular count nouns cannot stand alone in a sentence.
- Apple is on table. (Wrong!)
They must be preceded by one of the following:
1. An article (the, a, an)
- An apple is on the table.
- The professor gave us a test.
2. A number or quantifier (one, another, the other, each, every, either, neither)
|One man was in Chicago.
Neither man was with his wife.
|The other man was in Saint Paul.
Either man could be in trouble.
Note: Never use the and another, each, every, neither, either together:
- The another man was in Milwaukee. (Wrong!)
3. This, that, some*
This artist created that painting.
- Some woman came to see you. (*unidentified subject)
4. A possessive pronoun or noun.
- It is my bicycle now.
- It was John’s bicycle.
Note: Do not use articles and possessives together.
- The Mary’s bicycle was stolen. (Wrong!)
Proper nouns have their own article usage.
- Don Smith lived next door to Dr. Zimbango.
- The Empire State Building is in New York City.
Non-count and plural nouns can be used without articles only in the “generic” sense:
- Cats are enemies of dogs.
- Water is essential for survival.
A, An, The, or (Nothing) (from The Internet TESL Journal)
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