Thursday, June 16, 2022

How to teach articles - A, An, and The

When to Use ‘A,’ ‘An,’ or ‘The’

Hello everyone!  Ever wonder about how to teach the articles a, an and the?  You are not alone.  

Here we go - articles in a snap!

Below I have laid out some of the rules about using ‘a, an, and the’.  Quick and easy!

Articles in general

We use a/an when we don’t need to say which thing we are talking about. We use ‘the’ to talk about a specific thing.

Remember, in order to use ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’ properly, you must know whether or not a noun is a Count or Non-Count Noun.

  • A count noun is the name of something that can be counted:

        one book, two books, three books.

  • A non-count noun is the name of something that cannot be counted:

       juice, stew, freedom, happiness.

Indefinite articles:

Use ‘a’ before words that start with a consonant sound and ‘an’ before words that start with a vowel sound.

When to use ‘a’ and ‘an’

  • with singular countable nouns: to refer to a person or a thing that you are mentioning for the first time
  • before singular nouns that are unspecified
  • before number collectives and some numbers a gallon, a million

Definite articles:

When to use ‘the’
  • to identify a specific person or object
  • to indicate a noun that is definite or has been previously specified
  • with names of geographical areas, rivers, mountain ranges
  • before superlatives and ordinal numbers
  • with decades
There are several exceptions, or more complicated situations for using ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’ properly, the above information serves only as a beginning guideline but, can serve us well.

Happy Teaching,

Need an easy and engaging activity for your students to practice articles?  

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