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Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
The three most difficult English words to learn for many English Learners

Some languages use the articles “a, an and the” – some languages do not use articles.

A short list of languages* that do use articles include:

- English
- Dutch
- French
- German
- Greek
- Hungarian
- Italian
- Portuguese
- Spanish
- Yiddish

A short list of languages that do not use articles include:

- Chinese
- Japanese
- Korean
- Latvian
- Indonesian
- Polish
- Russian
- Ukrainian



Please do not post your answers. If all your answers are correct, it will discourage others from trying the quiz.

___ man and ___ woman were walking down ___ street.

They stopped at ___ shop to look at ___ dress in ___ window.

___ woman saw ___ dress that she liked in ___ shop.

She asked ___ man if he could buy ___ dress for her. 

He said: "Do you think ___ shop will accept ___ cheque/check because I don't have ___ credit card?"

___ next day she wore __ new dress and her husband said that it was ___ nicest dress she had.


To see the answers, select the text by dragging the mouse pointer across the sentence (or all the sentences), or simply press Ctrl (Control) + A (to see all of the answers).

A man and a woman were walking down a street.

They stopped at a shop to look at a dress in the window.

The woman saw a dress that she liked in the shop.

She asked the man if he could buy the dress for her. 

He said: "Do you think the shop will accept a cheque/check because I don't have a credit card?"

The next day she wore the new dress and her husband said that it was the nicest dress she had.


* Source:
** Source:

Apr 26, 2020 2:51 PM
Comments · 7
Thank you very much for your answer and your correction!
April 27, 2020

You've asked a couple of good questions.

Using an incorrect verb tense does sound wrong to an English speaker, but we can usually understand the meaning because we think of the correct tense based on the context (i.e., what we are talking about).
Using the wrong tense may be more important in formal writing or speaking, but it is not a big problem when we speak or write informally.

Using the wrong preposition or article does not prevent the English speaker from understanding the meaning.

Here's a good example using your message to me (ignore the words in parentheses):

I have (a) strange question about (the) articles. 
I sometimes read and correct texts written by foreigners in Russian.
Therefore, I can imagine how (a) wrong preposition or wrong verb tense sound (for) to you.
But I can’t imagine how mistakes with articles look (for) to native speakers?
Does it look just like (a) little mistake or it sometimes really has (a) significant influence on understanding (of) writing or speaking? 

Hope this helps a little.

April 27, 2020

I should have said that your message would be understood by anyone even if the articles were left out of the sentences.

The prepositions "to and for" are often interchanged incorrectly.

One of the 7 or 8 ways to use the preposition "to" is when we use it to indicate a relationship between two or more things:
• This letter is very important to me.

• I gave you the answer to your question.

• Don’t respond to strange emails.

• They found the solution to the problem.

April 27, 2020

You are 100% right.
Native English Speakers do not have a problem with these 3 little monsters because we read and hear these articles used every day.
I once read an article that described all the rules and usages of the articles - it was only 22 pages long... WOW

Thank you for your excellent comments.
April 27, 2020
Thank you, Richard for bringing this topic. I totally agree about Russian. Articles is the pain for me, although theoretically all rules are easy), but in practice I often forget about them or use the instead a, a instead of the)).

April 26, 2020
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Richard-Business Eng
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language