articles: special rules and exceptions

articles: special rules and exceptions

  • Common expressions without articles
  • Articles are not used in these expressions:
      to school at school from school to/at/from university/college to/at/in/into/from church to/in/into/out of bed/prison/hospital to/at/from work to/at sea to/in/from town at/from home for/at/to breakfast/lunch/dinner/supper at night by car/bus/bicycle/plane/train/tube/ boat on foot go to sleep watch television (TV) on TV

  • Possessives
  • A noun that is used after a possessive (like John's, America's), has no article.
    John's coat (not the John's eeat)
    America's economic problems
    (NOT the America's economic problems)

  • Musical instruments
  • We usually use the article the when we talk in general about a musical
    instrument.
      I'd like to learn the piano.
    But the is not used when we talk about jazz or pop music.
      This recording was made with Miles Davis on trumpet.

  • all and both
  • We sometimes leave out the after both, and after alt when there is a number.
      Both (the) children are good at maths.
      All (the) eight students passed the exam.
    We can say all day, all night, all week, all summer/winter, all year, without
    the.
      I've been waiting for you all day.

  • Seasons
  • We can say in spring or in the spring, in summer or in the summer, etc. There is little difference.

  • Jobs and positions
  • We use the article with the names of jobs.
      My sister is a doctor. (NOT My sister is doctor )
    But the is not used in titles like Queen Elizabeth, President Lincoln.

  • Exclamations
  • We use a/an in exclamations after what, with singular countable nouns.
      What a lovely dress! (NOT What lovely dress!)

  • Nature
  • We often use the with the words town, country, sea, seaside and mountains, even when we are talking in general. The same happens with wind, rain, snow and sun(shine).
      Do you prefer the town or the country?
      I love the mountains
      I like the noise of the wind
      She spends her time lying in the sun.

  • Place-names
  • We usually use the with these kinds of place-names:
      seas (the Atlantic)
      mountain groups (the Himalayas)
      island groups (the West Indies)
      rivers (the Rhine)
      deserts (the Sahara)
      hotels (the Grand Hotel)
      cinemas and theatres (the Odeon, the Playhouse) museums and art galleries (the British Museum, the Tate)
    We usually use no article with:
      continents, countries, states, counties, departments etc
      (Africa, Brazil, Texas, Berkshire, Westphalia) towns (Oxford) streets (New Street) lakes (Lake Michigan)
    Exceptions: countries whose name contains a common noun like republic, state(s), union (the People's Republic of China, the USA, the USSR). Note also the Netherlands, and its seat of government the Hague.
    We do not usually use the with the names of the principal buildings of a town.
    Oxford University (NOT the Oxford University)
    Salisbury Cathedral Birmingham Airport Bristol Zoo
    Names of single mountains vary some have articles, some do not (Everest, the Matterhorn).

  • Newspapers
  • The names of newspapers usually have the.
    The Times The Washington Post Most names of magazines do not have the.
    Punch New Scientist

  • Special styles
  • We leave out articles in some special ways of writing, newspaper headlines MAN KILLED ON MOUNTAIN notices, posters etc SUPER CINEMA, RITZ HOTEL
    WIFE ILL MUST CANCEL HOLIDAY Open packet at other end palm inner surface of hand between wrist and fingers take car to garage-, buy buttons; pay phone bill
    J. thinks company needs new office
    telegrams instructions dictionary entries
    lists
    notes
    --- >>>
  • 'copula1 verbs
  • 'social' language
  • (a) few and (a) little
  • (a)round and about
  • (be) used to + noun or... -ing
  • (Great) Britain, the United Kingdom, the British Isles and England
  • -ing form ('gerund')
  • -ing form after to
  • -ing form or infinitive?
  • abbreviations
  • about to
  • above and over
  • across and over
  • across and through
  • active verb forms
  • actual(ly)
  • adjectives ending in -Iy
  • adjectives without nouns
  • adjectives: order
  • adjectives: position
  • adverbs of manner
  • adverbs: position (details)
  • adverbs: position (general)
  • after (conjunction)
  • after (preposition); afterwards (adverb)
  • after all
  • afternoon, evening and night
  • ages
  • ago
  • all (of) with nouns and pronouns
  • all and every
  • all and whole
  • all right
  • all with verbs
  • all, everybody and everything
  • almost and nearly
  • also, as well and too
  • although and though
  • among and between
  • and
  • and after try, wait, go etc
  • another
  • any (= 'it doesn't matter which')
  • any and no: adverbs
  • appear
  • articles: a and an; pronunciation of the
  • articles: a/an
  • articles: countable and uncountable nouns
  • articles: introduction
  • articles: special rules and exceptions
  • articles: talking in general
  • articles: the
  • articles: the difference between a/an and the
  • as and like
  • as if and as though
  • as much/many ... as ...
  • as well as
  • as, because and since (reason)
  • as, when and while (things happening at the same time)
  • as...as ...
  • ask
  • at all
  • at, in and on (place)
  • at, in and on (time)
  • be + infinitive
  • be with auxiliary do
  • be: progressive tenses
  • because and because of
  • before (adverb)
  • before (conjunction)
  • before (preposition) and in front of
  • begin and start
  • big, large, great and tall
  • born
  • borrow and lend
  • both (of) with nouns and pronouns
  • both with verbs
  • both... and...
  • bring and take
  • British and American English
  • broad and wide
  • but = except
  • by: time
  • can and could: ability
  • can and could: forms
  • can with remember, understand, speak, play, see, hear, feel, taste and smell
  • can: permission, offers, requests and orders
  • can: possibility and probability
  • close and shut
  • come and go
  • comparison: comparative and superlative adjectives
  • comparison: comparative and superlative adverbs
  • comparison: much, far etc with comparatives
  • comparison: using comparatives and superlatives
  • conditional
  • conjunctions
  • contractions
  • countable and uncountable nouns
  • country
  • dare
  • dates
  • determiners
  • discourse markers
  • do + -ing
  • do and make
  • do: auxiliary verb
  • during and for
  • during and in
  • each and every
  • each other and one another
  • each: grammar
  • either... or...
  • either: determiner
  • ellipsis (leaving words out)
  • else
  • emphasis
  • emphatic structures with it and what
  • enjoy
  • enough
  • even
  • eventual(ly)
  • ever
  • every and every one
  • except
  • except and except for
  • exclamations
  • excuse me, pardon and sorry
  • expect, hope, look forward, wait, want and wish
  • explain
  • fairly, quite, rather and pretty
  • far and a long way
  • farther and further
  • fast
  • feel
  • fewer and less
  • for + object + infinitive
  • for, since, from, ago and before
  • for: purpose
  • future perfect
  • future progressive
  • future: introduction
  • future: present progressive and going to
  • future: shall and will (interpersonal uses)
  • future: shall/will (predictions)
  • future: simple present
  • gender (masculine and feminine language)
  • get (+ object) + verb form
  • get + noun, adjective, adverb particle or preposition
  • get and go: movement
  • go ... -ing
  • go meaning'become'
  • go: been and gone
  • had better
  • half (of)
  • hard and hardly
  • have (got) to
  • have (got): possession, relationships etc
  • have + object + verb form
  • have: actions
  • have: auxiliary verb
  • have: introduction
  • hear and listen (to)
  • help
  • here and there
  • holiday and holidays
  • home
  • hope
  • how and what... like?
  • if only
  • if so and if not
  • if-sentences with could and might
  • if: ordinary tenses
  • if: special tenses
  • ill and sick
  • imperative
  • in and into (prepositions)
  • in case
  • in spite of
  • indeed
  • infinitive after who, what, how etc
  • infinitive of purpose
  • infinitive without to
  • infinitive: negative, progressive, perfect, passive
  • infinitive: use
  • instead of... -ing
  • inversion: auxiliary verb before subject
  • inversion: whole verb before subject
  • irregular verbs
  • it's time
  • it: preparatory object
  • it: preparatory subject
  • last and the last
  • let's
  • letters
  • likely
  • long and for a long time
  • look
  • look (at), watch and see
  • marry and divorce
  • may and might: forms
  • may and might: permission
  • may and might: probability
  • mind
  • modal auxiliary verbs
  • more (of): determiner
  • most (of): determiner
  • much (of), many (of): determiners
  • much, many, a lot etc
  • must and have to; mustn't, haven't got to, don't have to, don't need to and needn't
  • must: deduction
  • must: forms
  • must: obligation
  • names and titles
  • nationality words
  • need
  • negative questions
  • negative structures
  • neither (of): determiner
  • neither, nor and not... either
  • neither... nor...
  • next and nearest
  • next and the next
  • no and none
  • no and not
  • no and not a/not any
  • no more, not any more, no longer, not any longer
  • non-progressive verbs
  • noun + noun
  • numbers
  • once
  • one and you: indefinite personal pronouns
  • one: substitute word
  • other and others
  • ought
  • own
  • participle clauses
  • participles used as adjectives
  • participles: 'present' and 'past' participles (-ing and -ed)
  • passive structures: introduction
  • passive verb forms
  • past tense with present or future meaning
  • past time: past perfect simple and progressive
  • past time: past progressive
  • past time: present perfect progressive
  • past time: present perfect simple
  • past time: simple past
  • past time: the past and perfect tenses (introduction)
  • perfect tenses with this is the first time..., etc
  • personal pronouns (I, me, it etc)
  • play and game
  • please and thank you
  • possessive with determiners (a friend of mine, etc)
  • possessive's: forms
  • possessive's: use
  • possessives: my and mine, etc
  • prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs
  • prepositions after particular words and expressions
  • prepositions and adverb particles
  • prepositions at the end of clauses
  • prepositions before particular words and expressions
  • prepositions: expressions without prepositions
  • present tenses: introduction
  • present tenses: present progressive
  • present tenses: simple present
  • progressive tenses with always
  • punctuation: apostrophe
  • punctuation: colon
  • punctuation: comma
  • punctuation: dash
  • punctuation: quotation marks
  • punctuation: semi-colons and full stops
  • question tags
  • questions: basic rules
  • questions: reply questions
  • questions: word order in spoken questions
  • quite
  • real(ly)
  • reflexive pronouns
  • relative pronouns
  • relative pronouns: what
  • relative pronouns: whose
  • relatives: identifying and non-identifying clauses
  • remind
  • reported speech and direct speech
  • reported speech: orders, requests, advice etc
  • reported speech: pronouns; 'here and now' words; tenses
  • reported speech: questions
  • requests
  • road and street
  • say and tell
  • see
  • seem
  • shall
  • short answers
  • should
  • should after why and how
  • should and would
  • should, ought and must
  • should: (If I were you) I should ...
  • similar words
  • since (conjunction of time): tenses
  • singular and plural: anybody etc
  • singular and plural: irregular plurals
  • singular and plural: plural expressions with singular verbs
  • singular and plural: pronunciation of plural nouns
  • singular and plural: singular words ending in -s
  • singular and plural: singular words with plural verbs
  • singular and plural: spelling of plural nouns
  • slow(ly)
  • small and little
  • smell
  • so am I, so do I etc
  • so and not with hope, believe etc
  • some and any
  • some/any and no article
  • some: special uses
  • somebody and anybody, something and anything, etc
  • sound
  • spelling and pronunciation
  • spelling: -ise and -ize
  • spelling: -ly
  • spelling: capital letters
  • spelling: ch and tch, k and ck
  • spelling: doubling final consonants
  • spelling: final -e
  • spelling: full stops with abbreviations
  • spelling: hyphens
  • spelling: ie and ei
  • spelling: y and i
  • still, yet and already
  • subject and object forms
  • subjunctive
  • such and so
  • suggest
  • surely
  • sympathetic
  • take
  • take (time)
  • tall and high
  • taste
  • telephoning
  • telling the time
  • tenses in subordinate clauses
  • that: omission
  • the same
  • there is
  • think
  • this and that
  • too
  • travel, journey and trip
  • unless and if not
  • until and by
  • until and to
  • used to + infinitive
  • verbs with object complements
  • verbs with two objects
  • way
  • weak and strong forms
  • well
  • when and if
  • whether and if
  • whether... or...
  • which, what and who: question words
  • who ever, what ever, how ever etc
  • whoever, whatever, whichever, however, whenever and wherever
  • will
  • wish
  • worth ... -ing
  • would
  • would rather
  • All Sikhs must possess five things - one is a Kangha - what is it ? . Answer ..
  • Prepositions
    English Grammar
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