Article Summary

 

 

Article Diagnostic: identify specific points that need review

Overview of Determiners (noun markers)

Determiners: recognize a variety of noun markers

 phone friends

A friend called. / *Friend called. 
Friends called.

This / that friend called.
These / those / some / three friends called. 

A hair is on your sweater.
Hair makes a guy look young.  

A—Unspecific/Specific (Any, A particular one)

A–Any One: refer to something as an example of all

violin

Making a violin requires more than technical knowledge. (unspecific – any one)


We gave a violin to the music school. (specific)

A–One in Particular: refer to a specific item (first mention)

comet

A comet appears to have a tail as it streaks through the sky.(unspecific)


A comet was seen in the western sky last night. (specific)

A / An: blend article sounds before nouns

Pronunciation

This is a global business.   /ˈg/ 

This is an electronic business. /ɪ/

The company has an NIH grant.   /ˈɛn/ 

The director has a university e-mail address./ˌyu/

The director has an unlisted e-mail address. /ʌn/

All—Plural Form

Plural–All in General: make generalizations about the group

ancestor

Dogs are descended from wolves.

The dog is descended from the wolf.

 

The—Indefinite one vs. Definite one

The–Definite One: refer to an identified one

salami - specific one

Salami is very salty. (indefinite – all in general)

The salami I just cut is very salty. (definite–this one)

 

The–Classification: refer to typical characteristics and behavior (indefinite)

The Lion

The lion sleeps much of the day. (indefinite– all in general)

A lion sleeps much of the day.  (any one as an example)

The–Earlier Mention:  refer to something that is already known

Puzzle Piece

This is a puzzle piece. The piece fits into a puzzle.
(first mention)              (second mention)

The– Included Parts: refer to expected parts within a mentioned noun

puzzle piece fitting into puzzle

This is a puzzle.  The pieces are inside the box. 
(first mention) — (an expected part of an already mentioned item)

The– Later Mention:  refer to a noun identified by information after it

holding puzzle piece

The part on top is here.  (identified by modifier)


The part that I am holding is a corner.  (ident. by clause)


The part you see is a corner. (ident. by clause)
 

The–Shared Knowledge: refer to a noun that is already known

the last piece

Hand me the piece.   (ident. by both see or know it)

Hand me the last piece. (ident. by being unique, the only one)

The—Special Uses

The–Nationality : recognize word forms for nationality (Demonyms)

an Englishman

He is an Englishman. (unspecific)

He is English. (adjective of nationality)

The English are northern people. (specific nationality)

 

The–Group: refer to a group with a descriptor (adjectival name)

the blind

The blind need accessible walkways.

The English  were proud of their team.

Do you want a large or small coffee.  I'll have the large.

The latter will be much better.  In fact,  it's the best.

The–Landmarks: recognize buildings and landmarks that are marked with the

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a beautiful landmark.  (specific)

The–Geography:  recognize natural land forms that are marked with the

Bay Area Satellite

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I live on the Peninsula.

I live in the coastal hills.

The-Countries: recognize country names that are marked with the

Map of U.S

She lives in France.

I live in the United States of America.

He lives in the Netherlands.

The-Superlatives: state a unique degree of a noun; don't forget the.

actress

He is the most convincing actor of all.

He is the least likable character in the film.

It was the saddest movie ever.

 

Another / The other: specify one more or the rest

milk and cookies

She ate one.  (a cookie)

Then she ate another (one more)

Then she ate the others (the rest of the group)

She ate other cookies. (not these)

The–Identified Nouns: recognize when to switch from a to the

college grad

The kids who are starting college this fall across nation were born in 1994.

They do not remember .....

Article Use Prac: practice article use in a restaurant review

Chez Panisse

"Chez Panisse Café " is a less-expensive alternative to Alice Waters' restaurant "Chez Panisse".

 

Demonstratives

Demonstratives: specify which one — this, that, these, those

this blue marble

This blue marble is mine. (determiner)

This marble is mine. (determiner)

This is mine. (pronoun)

Expressions

The more, the more: indicate that two things vary together

 couple looks at wreakage

The more we saw, the less we could believe.

The bigger, the better.

 

Related Pages

Most / Most of the: specify a majority in a group

students

Most students ask questions.
Most of the students in my English class ask questions.



A number of the students in my class ask questions.
The number of the students who ask questions is low.
 

Possessive Pronouns:  mark nouns for possession 

Naughty Dog

Our dog is barking at other dogs. (determiner)

Their dogs are running away.

Your dog dislikes getting wet.

Collective Possessive Pronouns: refer to collective possessive nouns

Paparazzi

The paparazzi made its purpose clear. It had a right to be outside her house.

The paparazzi placed their cameras right in her face. They were rude, even mean.