What Are Articles? (with Examples)
There are two types of articles:
The Definite Article (the)
The Indefinite Article (a and an).
Articles are classified as adjectives.
‘The’ is called the definite article because it is used to indicate something specific.
‘A’ and ‘An’ are called the indefinite articles because they do not refer to something specific.
Here are examples of the articles in use:
I fell over the chair again.
(The chair is specific. It is known to the audience.)
Can you pass me a chair?
(This means an unspecific chair, i.e., any chair.)
Now when do we use the article ‘A’ and the Article ‘An?’
‘An’ is used noun begins with a vowel sound while the Article ‘A’ is used where the nouns begin with a consonant sound. Note: Consonants can create a vowel sound, and vowels can create a consonant sound. The use of ‘an’ is determined by the sound not the letter. Look at these examples:
(House and hour start with the same three letters; however, house attracts a, and hour attracts an. This is because house starts with a consonant sound, but hour starts with a vowel sound.)
A uniform row
An unidentified man
(Uniform and unidentified start with the same three letters; however, uniform attracts a, and unidentified attracts an. This is because uniform starts with a consonant sound (yoo), but unidentified starts with a vowel sound.)