Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 119 – Grammar – Articles (Upper Intermediate)

Welcome back to another edition of articles! We use a/an with singular, countable nouns. We use it: when we mention something for the first time, or to say that the person or thing is one of a number of things or people.

She’s got a car.

to say what somebody’s profession is.

He’s a researcher.

The

We use the with countable (singular and plural) and uncountable nouns. We use it:

to refer to something or somebody previously mentioned or that we already know about.

She’s got a car. The car’s brand new.

to talk about specific things or people.

The car she bought was expensive.

The people who work there are really helpful.

to talk about something unique, somethign that there is only one of.

the Sun, the government *in a particular country*, the floor, the sky, the world.

with superlative adjectives and adverbs, and first/last/only/same.

It’s always the same story.

with singular nouns to refer in general to all members of a group.

The piano is a difficult instrument to play.

with an adjective to talk about a group. In this case, the verb is always plural.

The unemployed are suffering more than most.

No article

We do not use an article:

with plural countable nouns or uncountable nouns when we are talking about people or thing in general.

Economists say there will be more jobs next year.

Society needs to change.

with a person’s job title or their unique position in a company.

My brother is Head of Finance at the university.

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