Articles ‘a’, ‘an’, ‘the’ and no article – Lesson 9

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How do we use the articles ‘a’, ‘an’, ‘the’ and no article? This is a difficult subject for students of English, and I hope this intermediate lesson will help you understand how they are used. Please try this quiz

Use A / AN
The first time something is mentioned
When it doesn’t matter which one, or you don’t know which one
When the object is singular and countable
With professions

When there is only one
When we already know which one
With mountain ranges
With groups of islands
With rivers, seas, oceans, and groups of lakes
With groups of people (nations)
With superlatives
With inventions

With indefinite plural or uncountable nouns
With names
With towns and cities
With countries
With continents
With 1 Lake / 1 Mountain
With planets (Note these exceptions! the Earth, the Sun and the Moon too)

More lessons and quizzes on my blog

Online English Lessons

More lessons on gerunds and infinitives here

And phrasal verbs are here

Reblogged 7 months ago from


  1. ditti rajput

    April 14, 2017 at 7:20 pm


  2. Naeem Khan

    April 14, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    very tricky question, which article should be used with the word 'hour' and why

  3. Павел Лазарев

    April 14, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you. I'm from Russia, but I have understood you!

  4. SIR TANMOY Datta

    April 14, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Hello and Namaste from India :
    I'm giving 2 sentences tell me with article error can you please explain me what are the errors with those 2 sentences with proper rule:
    1:-(a)The need to set up
    (b)a good library in the locality
    (c)has been in the minds of people
    (d)for some time now.
    2:-(a)Most people would have
    (b)attended the union meeting
    (c)if they had
    (d)had longer notice of it

  5. norboe largusson

    April 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    thanks to an increasing reliance on technology.

    thanks to increasing reliance on technology.

    What is the difference between this two sentences? … They are both correct

  6. lorenc barjami

    April 14, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you so much for your lesson , it was very clear , best wishes .

  7. Aydan ismayilova

    April 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Hi! Can you answer my QUESTION please? Which one is wrong "a police car" or "a traffic police"?? THANKS.

  8. Karya Balsu

    April 14, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Thank u so much you are better than my english teacher it is so usefull for my english exam

  9. Peter Williams

    April 14, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    I think Americans will say … He is in THE hospital, to mean that he is a patient in hospital. Is this a difference from British English?

  10. Paul Luck

    April 14, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Its interesting. Thanks !

  11. Jaafar

    April 14, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    very clear
    now I understan the defference between the school and school without article.

  12. zaiir alaq

    April 14, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    do not say in school we say at school

  13. Andrew Yes I'm great pretender

    April 14, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    "London is capital of Great Britain" – this sentence was first what we had to know in Ukrainian & Russian schools . and sometimes, when you are asking somebody – "Do you speak English ?" you will hear "Yes, London is capital of Great Britain" 🙂 this means what his English is not good 🙂
    PS. I wrote it only for good mood 🙂

  14. Andrew Yes I'm great pretender

    April 14, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Amazing , I like this guy )


    April 14, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Then, what about – the Crimea or the Ukraine?

  16. Nouf Alharbi

    April 14, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks teacher 💜💜💜💜

  17. Se Ti

    April 14, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    to tell the truth … I never use these articles in my speech and I can't be bothered. And if people struggle understanding me because of that – that's their propblem, isn't it?

  18. graciela Solorzano

    April 15, 2017 at 12:00 am

    thanks for the video useful 😀

  19. Tum Elim

    April 15, 2017 at 12:12 am

    I to learn English

  20. Aki John

    April 15, 2017 at 12:40 am

    How about GYM. DO we need article ?

  21. fahmid wasir

    April 15, 2017 at 12:57 am

    helpful lesson

  22. felice petrignano

    April 15, 2017 at 12:59 am

    Emotions are nn countable, ok. But can t i say "an emotion"?


    April 15, 2017 at 1:13 am

    What about streets ? Do we need to use the article when we talk about name of some street for example ?

  24. Mathew i

    April 15, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Can someone tell
    me the definition of "Sequence of
    Verb Tenses". And what is it for?

  25. Amel Amel

    April 15, 2017 at 1:42 am

    I liked the video but your hairstyle is funny :p

  26. Ratul Adib

    April 15, 2017 at 1:57 am

    but we say 'The Earth'

  27. Legato

    April 15, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Hello. Why is this correct – This plane boards at gate six. Why is there no need for "the" before the word gate ?

  28. sweeeetmuffin

    April 15, 2017 at 2:49 am

    You're the best teacher!! Thank You!

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