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Tutorial on Articles

Articles precede most nouns. The is a definite article, which means that it precedes a particular person, place or thing. A and an are indefinite articles, which means they precede a noun that is not a particular person, place or thing. Use the before most singular and plural nouns whose specific identity has been made clear, and use a or an when the noun is singular and its specific identity is unknown. For indefinite articles, a should precede a noun that starts with a consonant sound, and an should be used before nouns that start with a vowel sound. There are some cases where no article is needed. Omit the article with nonspecific plural nouns, as in this sentence: Computers are expensive.

EXERCISE

Insert the correct article in the blanks:

1. ______ Battle of Gettysburg was ______ major event in ______ American Civil War.

 

2. She needs ______ vacation.

 

3. President Bush rallied support for ______ War on Terror after ______ attacks of September 11.

 

4. His book won ______ Pulitzer Prize.

 

5. Her book won ______ prestigious award.

 

6. If ______ apple a day keeps the doctor away, then _____ vitamin a day can’t hurt.

 

7. ______ president’s first health-care plan did not pass, but ______ compromise plan eventually became law.

 

8. ______ stock market had one if its worst days today, but _____ good day could follow soon.

 

9. The Help is ______ wonderful book, and ______ excerpt is posted online.

 

10. Three Mile Island was ______ site of ______ country’s worst nuclear accident.

 

11. ______ housing market was in ______ major slump during ______ recession that began in 2008.

 

12. I hope you see that using ______ article isn’t that difficult if you take ______ time to learn how.

 

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