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Problems In Use of Articles

Rule 1: The indefinite article ‘a’ or ‘an’ is used before a singular noun which is countable as well as with a noun complement, as-
  • A terrorist has been killed in an encounter.
  • A water pump is a must in house in Rajasthan.
Rule 2: An indefinite article ‘a’ or ‘an’ is necessary in expressions referring to numbers, speed, price and frequency, as-
  • A kilogram of sugar
  • A dozen of oranges

Sometimes the use of indefinite article a before and after certain adjectives changes the very sense of the word with which it is used. 
For example, the use of a before the adjectives ‘few’, ‘little’, ‘slight’, etc. changes the very meaning expressed by these words. ‘Few’ means ‘nearly nothing ‘but ‘a few’ means ‘some’. 

Eg- He has little time to spare. (Means ‘no time’)
 

 

Rule 4: Definite article ‘the’is used with the things which are only one; for example:
  • The moon, the earth, the sky, the North Pole
  • The Prime Minister, the president
  • In other words, the nouns which single out one individual or thing.
Rule 5: Definite article ‘the’ is used before superlative as also before only when it is used as an adjective, as-
  • This is the best book in the subject.
  • This is the only reason.
  • This is the biggest blunder you have made.
  • This is the only purpose of my visit.
Rule 6: the is used before names of periodicals and newspapers, names of important buildings, before names of rare or unique objects, names of rivers, oceans, bays, mountains, religious groups, communities, institutions, etc.
  • I have read this news in the Tribune. (Newspaper)
  • The earth revolves round the Sun. (heavenly bodies)
  • The Taj Mahal is located at Agra in Uttar Pradesh. (Important / rare building)
  • The Ganges is the largest river of India. (River)
  • Similarly, definite article ‘the’ is used before the names of books.
  • The Bible, The Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The Two Faces of Indira Gandhi, The Quran
Rule 7: Definite article ‘the’ is used before words pointing out a class or kind of a thing.
It is sometimes done by using it before an adjective to represent a whole class, as-
  • The crow is a clever bird. (Means ‘all the crows’)
  • The young will have to shoulder the responsibility. (Means ‘all the young’)

Use the correct article.

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