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Articles (Grammar)



There are two types of articles: Indefinite (a, an) and Definite (the).

A.     Indefinite article: 'a' and 'an'

1.          We use the indefinite article, a, with singular nouns which begins from consonant sound and when the listener/reader does not know exactly which one we are referring to.

They are searching for a 14-year-old girl.

We also use it to show that the person or thing is one of a group:

He is a pupil at Jana Jiwan Secondary School.

We also use it before singular countable noun which begins from vowel letter but has consonant sound at the beginning.

There is a ewe.

He is a university student.

This is a useful book.

Ramesh is a one-eyed man.

2.          We use the indefinite article, an, with singular nouns which begins from vowel sound and when the listener/reader does not know exactly which one we are referring to.

Suman is eating an orange.

There is an ox.

Computer is an optional subject.

She has bought an umbrella.

A fly is an insect.

We also use it before singular countable noun which begins from consonant letter but has vowel sound at the beginning.

Sabina went after an hour.

Bimal is an honourable teacher.

He is an MP.

She bought an FM radio.

We do not use an indefinite article with plural nouns:

He was wearing black shoes. (plural noun)

We do not use an indefinite article with uncountable nouns:

She has long, blonde hair(uncountable noun)

We do not use an indefinite article with proper nouns:

Bishnu lives in Kathmandu.

She is from India.


B. Definite article: the

We use the definite article, the, with both singular nouns and plural nouns as well as countable nouns and uncountable nouns.


We use the definite article 'the' in the following situations.

1.                Before the names of things which are unique and only one:

We live in the earth.

We can see the moon in the sky at night.

The sun gives us heat and light.

2.                Before the noun which is repeated or mentioned in the second time:

There is a bird. The bird is chirping sharply.

3.                Before the adjectives of superlative degree:

Ramila is the most intelligent girl of our class.

Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world.

Who is the best student of our class?

4.                Before the names of countries which have plural names:

Carol is from the UK.

The Netherlands is called Holland.

They have been living in the USA.

5.                Before ordinal numbers:

Muna is the first girl of class 8.

6.                Before name of musical instruments:

She plays the flute well.

7.                Before a noun which is described or modified by a phrase or clause:

The boy who is in a blue shirt is my younger brother.

This is the place where we met last time.

8.                Before names of river, lakes, falls, mountain range, deserts, islands, canals, seas, and oceans:

The Nile is the longest river.

I have seen the Rara lake.

9.                Before ordinal numbers:

The first Prime minister of Nepal is Bhimsen Thapa.

Arpana is the third girl of our class.

10.           Before names of Newspapers:

He reads the Kathmandu Post daily.

The New York Times is a colourful newspaper.

11.           Before names of directions and poles:

Mt. Everest is in the north.

There is extreme cold in the south pole.

12.           Before names of holy books:

My father recites the Geeta every morning.

13.           Before the names of highest posts:

KP Sharma Oli is the Prime Minister of Nepal.

14.           Before names of scientific innovations:

Who invented the computer?



Videos for testing the competency of students (articles)

Part 1:

Part 2:



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