I. The Definite Article - THE
- Before a noun which has been used previously
My house is not far from a river. But the river is very polluted.
- Before nouns known both by the speaker and the interlocutor
The garden looks very nice today.
The boss has asked about you.
- Before unique nouns , such as : the sun , the moon , the Earth , the sky , the Equator
The Equator is an imaginary line in the middle of the Earth.
- Before a noun which represents a category of animals,plants or things
The rose is a symbol of beauty and love.
The nightingale is a singing bird.
Even children can use the computer nowadays.
- Before proper nouns used in the plural
The Tudors reigned in England for more than a century.
- Before names of days , months, years and seasons, when we mention one in particular
The year 2001 was the beginning of a new millenium.
The whole country was covered with snow until the month of May.
- Before names of countries , when they are in the plural : the Netherlands , the USA
Yhe USA is a military force in the world.
- Before names of rivers , seas and oceans ,islands , mountains , deserts : the Danube , the Thames , the Black Sea ,the North Sea , the Pacific Ocean, the British Isles, the Carpathians , the Alps , the Sahara Desert
The Pacific Ocean is the largest Ocean.
- Before nouns which name historical periods and events : the Stone Age , the Middle Age , the Civil War ,the French Revolution, the Declaration of Independence
- Before names of buildings which represents official institutions : the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, the British Museum, the White House
- Before names of newspapers and magazines :
The Times was first published in 1785.
- Before ordinal numerals : the first , the second, the third ...
The first book I read in English was “ Tom Sawyer “.
- Before musical instruments :
She plays the violin three hours every day.
- Before adjectives in the superlative
She is the tallest in her class.
II. The Indefinite Article - A, AN
- Before a countable noun in the singular which is mentioned for the first time
There is a church near my house.
- Before a noun in the singular which represents a whole class of people or things
A friend will always help you.
An actor should have good pronunciation.
- Before nouns that indicate professions
My son will be an engineer next year , and my daughter is a doctor.
- In expressions which refer to prices , speed and time frequency
These grapes are 50 cents a kilo.
The speed limit is 60 km an hour.
You should take these pills three times a day.
III. The Zero Article
- Before proper names
Have you met James Brown today ?
- Before nouns that refer to family members or to close persons : Mother, Mum, Father , Dad, Aunt ,Uncle , Nurse , Teacher
Mother will be back soon and Dad will come later.
- Before names of countries ,cities and continents :England ,Wales , Romania,London ,Bucharest , New York ,Europe, North America
Have you ever been to England ?
Romania is situated in Europe.
- Before abstract nouns : love , knowledge , wisdom, freedom , justice , life, death
Knowledge is power.
Time is money.
- Before uncountable nouns used in general : bread , butter , cheese , ham, meat, coffee , sugar , gold , silver , wood , grass , oxygen
I never drink coffee.
Chocolate is not very healthy.
- Before other uncountable nouns :advice , furniture , information, luggage , news
I need advice to solve this problem.
This book has useful information.
- Before names of sciences
Robert got first prize in Mathematics.
She has just got her degree in Physics.
- Before nouns used in the plural with a general meaning :
Men and women should have equal rights.
Drivers must slow down at crossroads.