Grammar-QuizzesNoun PhrasesDeterminers › Articles


Summary of Practices



Articles—Diagnostic Quiz

Article Diagnostic: identify specific points that need review

bee pollinating flower

Quiz 1: beginning – intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate – advanced

Articles—A Unspecific / Specific (any one vs. a particular one)

A – Unspecific One: refer to a noun as "any one is an example of all"

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


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 noun as an introduction to it

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


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 vs. An: blend the article sound before the noun

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


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. /yu/

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

Articles—"All" Plural Form

Plural–All in General: refer to a noun collectively or in mass

Beginning– Intermediate ESL


Dogs are descended from wolves. (all)

The dog is descended from the wolf.  (the class)

The dogs are mine.  (definite ones)


The – One Identified: refer to a known one or known ones

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

salami - specific one

Salami is very salty. (in general)

The salami I just tasted is very salty. (this one)

Crackers are salty. (in general)

The crackers you bought are salty. (these ones)


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

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

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 – Second Mention:  refer to something known by earlier mentioned (already introduced)

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Puzzle Piece

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

The – Included Part: refer to something known as an expected part within an earlier mentioned item

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

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 known by information after it (modifiers)

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

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 known by shared knowledge—situational, cultural or unique

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

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 – Group Characteristic: refer to a group by a shared attribute

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

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 – Nationality: (Demonyms) country, language/origin, people and person word forms

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

an Englishman

He is an Englishman. (unspecific)

He is English. (adjective of nationality)

The English are northern people. (specific nationality)


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

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

The Golden Gate Bridge

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

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

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Bay Area Satellite

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I live on the Peninsula.

I live in the coastal hills.

The – Country Names: recognize when to use the with country names

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Map of U.S

She lives in Bolivia. (no article)

He is from the Kingdom of Tonga. (kind of union)

I live in the United States of America.

He lives in the Netherlands. (plural)

He lives in The Gambia. (exception–capital)

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

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


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

Beginning– Intermediate ESL

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)

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

Intermediate– Advanced ESL, Native Speakers


Most students ask questions.

Most of the students in my English class ask questions.

A number of the students ask questions.

The number of the students who ask questions is low.  

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

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

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".


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

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Earthquake debris in Napa 2014

The more we saw, the less we could believe.

The bigger, the better.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

(The more important or powerful a person is, the more difficult it is for him/her when losing power or importance.)