Strictly talking, there are merely three words in the English Language that are called articles Webster, 1994. These are ‘a ‘ ( or sometimes ‘an ‘ , although these two are merely the same word inflected otherwise ) , ‘the ‘ and sometimes ‘no ‘ . Articles indicate the manner in which a noun is being referenced, so that we know whether the noun in inquiry is bespeaking a remarkable specific thing or a genus of things. If the mention is being made to a specific single article, we say that the noun is being referenced decidedly. For illustration:
I merely kicked the cat.
The phrase above is speaking about a particular, ‘definite ‘ cat. We therefore use the definite article ‘the ‘ . Whereas:
I merely kicked a cat.
Although the statement above is speaking about a remarkable cat, it is non specific – or in other words, we do non cognize the individuality of the cat. Since the specific cat can non be readily inferred, we say that the mention to the noun ‘cat ‘ is indefinite. We therefore use the indefinite article ‘a ‘ , or in some instances ‘an ‘ . On the other manus:
No cat has been kicked.
The above statement uses the word ‘No ‘ as a negative article. That is, it is used to bespeak that the noun ‘cat ‘ mentions the deficiency of a cat.
There is a 4th type of article, although it does non utilize a word. Rather, it uses the deficiency of an article to propose a definite article as in, ‘like a duck to H2O ‘ . When the nothing article is used in English, it is a replacement for the definite article, and so the phrase ‘like a duck to the H2O ‘ would intend the same thing. By and large, the zero article may be used interchangeably with the definite article in instances where the noun refers to an organisation or mass noun.
The determination of whether to utilize ‘a ‘ or ‘an ‘ as the indefinite article, unambiguously among grammatical protocols, is based on the manner in which the followers word is pronounced ( Ibid. ) . If the undermentioned word starts with a vowel sound, or an unstressed H, the article must be ‘an ‘ . If the word starts with a stressed H or a harmonic sound, the article must so be ‘a ‘ .
In the above missive, the articles are used so:
I went to the ( 1 ) library yesterday in order to obtain the ( 2 ) book you recommended in your talk yesterday
The first two articles are illustrations of the definite article ‘the ‘ being used to demo that the undermentioned noun ( in this instance ‘library ‘ and ‘book ‘ ) is a topic that the reader will be acquainted with. That is to state that the writer assumes that the receiver will cognize which library and book the missive refers to. Since a definite book and library can be identified, the article used is the definite.
but I was told that I had to make full in a ( 3 ) reserve signifier. That is why I am composing to you now.
The writer so uses the indefinite article ‘a ‘ to mention to a individual, nonspecific illustration of a group of things called reserve signifiers. A good trial of whether to utilize the indefinite article is whether the noun phrase ‘a reserve signifier ‘ can be replaced in the statement by the phrase ‘a reserve signifier ( any reserve signifier ) ‘ – which of class it can.
My name is Camara Kuffour and I am a Senegalese visiting bookman, analyzing at Tokyo University. I have a ( 4 ) library card from ( zero article ) ( 5 ) University of Dakar in Senegal.
The following article is one time once more indefinite and can go through the ‘a library card ( any library card ) ‘ trial. After that, there is an case of the nothing article, which as we have said above maps as a definite article. It could alternatively be “ the University of Dakar ” .
The ( 6 ) enclosed papers shows my place university enrollment figure. I understand that the ( 7 ) library card my place university provided can non be used here, so I would be thankful if you could supply me with a ( 8 ) missive to obtain a university of Tokyo card. You may reach Dr Joseph Ndour who will be happy to supply the ( 9 ) mention he normally writes for me. I look frontward to hearing from you.
The staying articles follow the regulations we have outlined above to bespeak when the noun phrase is or is non mentioning to a topic that is by and large well-known. There is conspicuously no usage of the word ‘an ‘ , and right so.
There is a farther article in the missive, used to cite ‘a university of Tokyo card ‘ . Although the article is non highlighted in the text, it is deserving observing that even if a noun begins with a vowel its appropriate indefinite article may be ‘a ‘ . ‘University ‘ is a good illustration of this, and the ground that it is accompanied by ‘a ‘ is that it starts with a harmonic sound instead than a vowel sound ( phonetically, ‘yoo-nee-vers-it-ee ‘ . )