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G.21 - Articles

Elementary: A or An?

Average: 1.6 (268 votes)

The choice of article (a or an) depends on the sound of the first letter in a word, not always on how it is written.

An is used with words that start with a vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u), the rest are used with a.

Complete the following exchanges with a or an:

Articles: A, An, The

Average: 3.2 (26 votes)

How much do you remember about when to use the articles, 'the, an, a'?

Read this letter from me and try and decide which article you need in each gap.

Some of the gaps don't need an article at all; can you work out which ones these are?

Lesson by Caroline

My Many Jobs!

I've had lots of different jobs and careers in my life and I'd like to tell you about some of them.

I got my first job when I was thirteen, as _1_ dog walker.

When do I use The?

Average: 1.9 (131 votes)

Definite article v. Zero article.

This is one of the most common questions students ask me and also one of the questions I find most difficult to answer. Native speakers of any language find there are some rules that they just know, without knowing why. However, to help you guys out, here are some rules for when we do use it and when we don’t. After the explanation there is a mini test to check your understanding. Good luck!

We use the when:

A, An and The

Average: 3.3 (28 votes)

Read through the following sentences and decide if they need a, an, the or no word. I must be in a good mood today because I've decided to be generous; you can use these points to help you choose the right answers!

Articles - Beginner Level

Average: 3.2 (10 votes)

Use a, an and the in the sentences below:

Lesson by Adele, EC Cape Town

When to use a, an, some, any

Articles and idioms - Elementary

Average: 3.1 (10 votes)

Articles (the;an;a) can often cause a lot of frustration. See how spot-on you are by matching them to these everyday idioms.  How well do you know these idioms. Do you have the same ones in your language?

Only use a, an, the

Submitted by Jozua van der Lugt. Teacher at EC Cape Town English language school

When to use a, an, some, any - Elementary

Average: 3.2 (109 votes)

Name: Deborah Jane Cairns (EC Cape Town)
Level: Elementary
When to use a/an/some/any

Students struggle with this on a regular basis so it is necessary for them to have a lot of practice.

 1. A is used with singular countable nouns that begin with a consonant.

When to use 'the'

Average: 3.6 (9 votes)

'The car is my favourite invention.'

Many English learners get confused over when to use the. Here we give you some of the basics.

We use the when we want to talk about something there is only one of: 'the moon; the sun; the north pole.'

The is used with specific things. Compare these two sentences:

When to use 'a' & 'an'

Average: 2.1 (974 votes)


Cambridge: a university / an university?

You were probably taught at school ‘an’ should be followed by a vowel (a,e,i,o,u) and a should be followed by a consonant:

an elephant
a car

Unfortunately, this is not always true!