The use of the articles
The articles are a (an) and the. A is the 'indefinite’ article, and theis the ‘definite article'. You use an instead of a if the next word begins with a vowel sound.
* When to use ‘a ’and ‘the’
You usually use a or the in front of countable nouns.
Can you lend me a hammer?
We found the keys behind the sofa.
You use a when you are mentioning something for the first time. You use the when you are mentioning something again that you have already talked about.
She has a car and a bike, but she uses the bike more often.*
If u use the with noun that you have not mentioned before, you believe that your listener knows which you mean.
Have you fed the cat? (=you have only one cat)*
*I met him during the conference.(= both you and your listener know which conference)
You use a when you are talking about several things or people you use the when its clear that you are talking about a particular thing or person and there is only one.
A man I work with told me about it (=you work with several men)*
*The man I work with told me about it(=you work with only man)
You also use a when you want to talk about a particular type of thing or person.
I am training to be an engineer. Not I am training to be engineer.*
*I went out to buy a newspaper. Not I went out to buy a newspaper.
With singular nouns such as world, sky, or sun, you use the because there is only one of these things in the situation that you are talking about.
*We are going to travel around the world.
*Do not look directly at the sun.
You use the when you are talking about buildings, places, and organization, for example the bank, the theatre, the post office etc.
*I went to the theatre last week.
*She's at the gym.
When not to use ‘a ’and ‘the
Don’t use the with accountable noun in the plural, when you are talking in general about something.
Will you have lunch with me? NOT will you have the lunch with me?
*Her mother has cancer. NOT Her mother has the cancer.
I go to work by bus. NOT I go to work by the bus.*
Most places names don’t have the in front of them.
*They are visiting Yemen. NOT They are visiting the Yemen.
Plural names of countries usually have the in front of them..
He is from the United States. NOT He is from United States.*
Many names of rivers begin with the.
*The Mississippi river.
*The Thames or the River Thames