Articles: English Language Notes for Bank and Other Competitive Exams (Download PDF)

Dear Aspirants, 

Study Notes are part of an effective strategy that helps you learn about a subject. Your mind collects data of random details in the form of keywords and memory maps visualized during preparation. Jotting down main phrases & keywords, making memory maps and highlighting important facts help one speed up the learning process. 
Study notes not only help you learn effectively but also play a crucial role during last minute revisions.
Here are the study notes for English Language - Articles which will help you ace your preparation.

> An article is a word that is used with a noun to specify grammatical definiteness (definite noun or indefinite) of the noun, and sometimes to describe volume or numerical scope.
> In English, there are only three articles - THE, A, & AN. These are not interchangeable; rather, they are used in specific and exclusive instances.

Indefinite articles: (for Unspecified noun)
1. ‘A’ and ‘AN’ are indefinite articles, which means that they don't refer to anything definite or specific. These are used with SINGULAR COUNTABLE nouns only. (REFER to points 6 & 7)
2. For example, If your friend says to you, ‘give me a torch’, then you can give him your torch, your friend’s torch or you can buy a brand new one from the nearby shop and give that to him, because while asking for it your friend hasn’t specified which torch to give to him. So you can give him any torch.
3. Same goes for the usage of AN. (Give me an umbrella).
4. Use A before nouns (or adjectives) that start with a consonant sound.
(a) He is a cricketer.                  (before a noun)
(b) He is a good cricketer.          (before an adjective)

5. Use AN before nouns (or adjectives) that start with a vowel sound.
(a) It is an Elephant.                  (before a noun)
(b) It is an old scooter.               (before an adjective)

6. For PLURAL (countable) indefinite nouns – some/few/many etc are used

Example: I bought some cows.

7. For NON-COUNTABLE indefinite nouns – NO ARTICLE is used.  (REFER to point 2 in Definite article)
Example: ‘Water’ is a non-countable noun (though ‘water drop’ is a countable noun). So for ‘water’ we write/say as follows - ‘There is water on the floor’

Definite article: (for specified noun)
1. There is only one definite article in English and that is, ‘THE’.

2. ‘THE’ is used before singular as well as plural nouns (COUNTABLE OR NON-COUNTABLE) & adjectives. It is used to refer to something which, both, the writer/speaker as well as the reader/listener are familiar with.

3. For example – If you are reading a book and your brother, sitting by your side, says, ‘give me the book’, he invariably refers to the book you are reading and not to some other book.

Important exceptions -
> Use the article THE when a particular noun has already been mentioned previously in a sentence.
For example:
(a) I ate an orange yesterday. The orange was juicy and tasty.
(b) I bought a shirt 3 days back and wore it at the last night’s party. But I returned the shirt to the shopkeeper today as it was not good.
> Use no article with plural count nouns or any non-count nouns used to mean - ALL or in general.

Examples: -
Trees are beautiful in the fall. (All trees are beautiful in the fall.) 
He was asking for advice. (He was asking for advice in general.)
BUT –> ‘He was asking for a piece of advice’ is correct.
I do not like coffee. (I do not like all coffee in general.)

To be remembered:
> The following take A with them:
Union, University, European, Ewe (pronounced as ‘jyu’ or ‘ज्यू’), YEAR, young, one rupee note, house, etc..
> The following take AN with them: 
MLA, MP, MBA, X-ray, FIR, SDO, honest, eagle, LLB, Umbrella, etc..
> A is used before fractions and half-fractions. E.g. – Six and a half meter (NOT ‘meters’); one and a quarter meter (NOT ‘meters’).


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