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We are very well aware of ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ – these are termed as articles. If you have noticed, we use articles in our everyday conversation as well as writing. We encounter these words while reading, while hearing and also while speaking.


The ‘article’ – being a small concept, is used in our day-to-day conversations. It would become to have conversations, to read and to write without the help of articles.

Let us know what articles are all about, let us also know its 3 types along with examples followed by a short quiz to check your understanding.

Articles are Determiners. The three types of articles are ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ – which are also the most common type of Determiners. We use the articles before a noun phrase.

The articles are divided into two types: ‘definite’ and ‘indefinite’.

‘A’ and ‘an’ fall under the indefinite articles, whereas ‘the’ falls under the definite article. 

We can use the article ‘A’ and ‘an’ only with singular countable nouns only and for a non-specific person or a thing. 



‘The’, being the definite article can be used for all types of nouns. We can use this article only in cases when referring to specific people or things which comes under singular or plural.


Indefinite is general and we use it to talk about something that is not specific. Indefinite Article is the opposite of the Definite one! We use ‘A’ and ‘an’ when we want to speak regarding something in general. On the other hand, we use ‘the’ when we want to speak about something specific/particular. Note that we use a/an only in the case of singular countable nouns like ‘a pen, an umbrella, an animal.”

Let us understand with the help of some examples,

  1. She was born in a village.
  2. We had an opportunity to talk to her.
  3. I ordered a pizza last night for dinner.
  4. I have lost the book.
  5. We found the car keys.
  6. Have you got a plan?
  7. Let us not look at the negativity.
  8. Why don’t you purchase a motorbike?
  9. We have lots to do with the plan.
  10. Do you want to buy a pen?

Depending on the situation and the word, we can often use a/an or the.

Let us look at some examples,

  1. I want to buy a pen. (This sentence says that I want to buy any pen, not just a particular pen.)
  2. It’s sunny. Where is the cap? (I already have a cap, but I’m looking for my cap, a particular cap.)

At times, there is also a possibility to have no article, which we call as the ‘Zero Article‘. There is a possibility that it can take place with all types of nouns but usually not with singular countable nouns like ‘cat, music, dance, food’

This was a short explanation of the articles and how they can be used in English. Let us now move forward to a short quiz to check your understanding of the concept.

Quiz on Articles