English Proficiency Programme

Articles: a, an, the




Rani plays with a doll.
An uncle gave it to her.

She likes dolls.


She will cry if she loses the doll.

She chose it from the dolls her uncle showed her in the shop.

The above table illustrates the basic rule.

In English, a singular noun needs an article. Using "a/an" or "the" will have different meanings.
A plural noun can be used without an article. Using the article "the" or not using it will have different meanings.

Examples: a man, a nice man, an ugly man, an honest man, a wonderful man, a unique man; a university, an honour.

Note: There are lots of other rules and exceptions, that can be found in standard grammar books.

- Bhaskar Dasgupta