An article is a word used to modify a noun.  A noun may be a person, place, thing, or idea. Technically, an article is an adjective, which is any word that modifies a noun. Usually adjectives modify nouns through description, but articles are used instead to point out the noun(s).  There are two types of articles: indefinite and definite. The articles a and an are indefinite articles and the article the is a definite article.

Indefinite Article:  A is used when the noun is singular and begins with a consonant or with a vowel that sounds like a consonant. Riding a bicycle one way to exercise. We have a spare tire in our trunk. There was a beautiful woman in the crowd.

Indefinite Article: An is used when the noun is singular and begins with a vowel sound or with a silent “h” (as in “hour”).

Bob is an entrepreneur. Debbie is an ophthalmologist.  It was an honor to receive the award.

Definite Article: The definite article the is used when the noun is either singular or plural, and has already been identified.

  • They wanted to pick the apples.
  • There seems to be trouble with the tires.
  • There is a hitchhiker on the freeway.
  • Bob drove the car.


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