Community Web Version Now Available
Pleas explaine me when we must use "a" or "the" before words?
Sep 30, 2012 4:46 PM
Answers · 5
We use 'a' when we are refering to a type of thing or person, but don't know which one for certain. We use 'the' when we know to what we are refering. "Fred, what's new?" "Hi Tom. We bought a dog." ['a' dog, because we don't know which one up to this point. It could be any dog.] "What kind is the dog?" ['the' dog, because now we know which dog we are refering to - the dog that Fred bought."] "The dog is a poodle." ['the' dog, because we still know which dog we are talking about.] If Fred and Tom had talked about buying a particular dog earlier and Tom knew that Fred was going to buy a particular dog - the poodle in this case - the sentence might have been: "Hi Fred. Did you buy the dog you were talking about. The poodle?" [Again, we use 'the' because we know definitely which dog." "Do you own a dog?" = "Do you own any dog?" [We don't know which dog - we are trying to find out.]
September 30, 2012
I agree with the above comments, and will just add this: Articles are something that you cannot ignore. You will need to learn them properly. Omitting them is not an option. Our nouns need a-nailin' down! :)
October 2, 2012
We call them "Articals" "the" for specific or particular nouns "a/an" for non-specific or non-particular nouns and "a/an" the indefinite article and "the" for the definite article . example: when I say "Let's play the game" I mean a specific game . If I say, "Let's play a game" I mean any game. "A/An" are always singular. "The" is singular or plural. ps: Some plural nouns don't use an article. so when using articles, it's important to also know the difference between count and noncount nouns.
September 30, 2012
''the'' and ''a'' are two articles
September 30, 2012
Language Skills
English, Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
English, Spanish