Indefinite article– ‘a’ or ‘an’ is called the indefinite article.

 The choice of ‘a’ or ‘an’ is determined by sound.

Use of “a”

  • If the word is beginning from a consonant sound.

For ex- a boy, a cat, a horse, a girl

  • The words which begin with a consonant sound, that of “yu”.

For ex- a university, a European, a unicorn

  • The words which begin with a consonant sound, that of “w”.

For ex- a one-rupee note


Although these words begin with a vowel but they sound like consonant that’s why a is used before them.


Use of “an”

  • If the word is beginning with a vowel sound.For ex- an apple, an orange, an ice-cream, an umbrella
  • The words in which initial consonant is not pronounced.For ex- an hour, an honest

In these words, initial consonant “h” is not pronounced, so these words sound like beginning from vowel sound. That’s why an is used before them.

Definite article–  the is called the definite article. It denotes some particular person or thing.

  • It is used when we talk about some particular person or thing.

For ex- The book you want is kept in bookshelf.

The girl is sleeping.

  • When a singular noun is meant to represent a whole class.

For ex- The cow is a useful animal.

The cat loves comfort.

The rose is the most beautiful flower.

  • “The” is used in the following categories of proper nouns:

Seas and oceans: The Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean

Rivers: The Mississippi, The Nile

Deserts: The Sahara Desert, the Sonora Desert

Periods and events in history: The Dark Ages, the Civil War

Bridges: The London Bridge, the Mackinac Bridge

Parts of a country: The South, the Upper Midwest

  • Before the names of certain books

For ex- the Ramayana, the Puranas

  • Names of something which is unique.

For ex- the sun, the earth

  • Before superlatives

For ex- She is the most beautiful girl in our class.

Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system.

  • With ordinals

For ex- This is the third time that I am repeating this question. 

Let us play the sixteenth track on the list. 

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