Articles are words that used together with nouns or adjectives. They are regarded as a class of determiner and not a word class. The articles normally in most cases are placed before a noun.
Example of articles are a, an, the and zero articles.
Look the following examples
(i) The car – Noun
(ii) A good boy -Noun
(iii) An x-ray -Noun
FEATURES OF ARTICLES
- Normally placed before Noun.
(i) A national party
(ii) A European
(iii) The Sun
- In some cases Articles used before Adjective + Common noun
(i) A good boy
(ii) A good Musician
(iii) The West German
- Also sometimes Articles are placed before Number + Common Noun
(i) The six boys
(ii) A one cow
FUNCTION OF ARTICLES
- Articles is used to clarify the Noun (i.e to make noun clear with reference to the given context).
(i) The sun (i.e article the used to specify that there is only one sun)
(ii) A boy (i.e A used to suggest that boy is unknown or there is only
- Articles is used to express which particular items are referred to a given context
(i) The tiger (i.e article the used to denote the idea of a class of animals)
(ii) A tiger (i.e article A used to denote the idea of one kind of animals
- Articles is used to express the specific things from the general one
(i) The boy (i.e the used to express the idea that the boy is well known by everyone)
(ii) A boy (i.e A used to express the idea that the boy is not well
TYPES OF ARTICLES
There are three main types of articles
- DEFINITE ARTICLES
- INDIFINITE ARTICLES
- ZERO ARTICLES
Those are articles that express the idea that the given noun is known from the given context. Definite articles express things, place or person that is clear to us.
Definite article is The
(i) The Earth
(ii) The boy
(iii) The president Kikwete
USES OF DEFINIT ARTICLES (THE)
- It used to express the unique thing (i.e the things that only one exist in the world).
(i) The sun
(ii) The equator
(iii) The earth
(iv) The Mt. Kilimanjaro
- The President of Tanzania
- The Moon
- The River Malagalasi
- It used to express the noun that is expressed for the second time (i.e this means the noun is already known in the context when introduced for the first time).
- John bough a radio and sold the radio to the people
1st time 2nd time
- A boy who killed a thief. The boy report to the police
- I bough a shirt. The shirt is now old.
- A boy was here for two hours yesterday. The boy was looking something in this place. The boy was considered as a thief by many people. He was carrying a radio. the radio was good and new one.
- It used to express the part of the house
- The wall
- The kitchen
- The window
- The floor
- The roof
- It used together with superlative adjectives (i.e those adjective that end up with suffix iest or begin with most)
- The biggest boy
- The most beautiful
- The longest river
- The most cleaver
- It used before the name of the country which consist an adjective
- The United Kingdom
- The Soviet Union
- The United Arab
- It used before the organization and political parties
- The O.A.U
- The UNO
- The NCCR
- The FAO
- The UMD
- It used to express the historical event
- The Arusha Declaration
- The Majimaji War
- The Tanzanian Independence
- It used to express a title of books and films
- The Lion of the people
- The Pearl of Africa
- The Tragedy of the true blood
- It used to express the public institution (i.e institution that are owned by public)
- The police
- The TBC
- The RTD
- It used to express a noun that is well specified by relative pronoun
- The boy who comes always become a president
- The girl who killed yesterday is my aunt
- The ladies who steal my pocket are waiting you
NB: Sometime preposition in is used
- The boy in the garden
- The flower in the garden
- The girl in the hotel
- The women in the car
- It used together with the expression of time
- In the afternoon
- In the night
- In the morning
- IDEFINITE ARTICLES
Are those articles that express the idea that the given noun is unknown from the given context.
Examples of Idefinite article are a and an
NB: THE GENERAL RULES
A – Is used with those noun that start with consonant sound (b, c, d,…..z)
AN – Is used with those noun that start with vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u) and (silent h sound).
USES OF IDEFINITE ARTICLES (A and AN)
- They used to introduce something or person at the first time (i.e That is unknown in the given context).
(i) I bought a radio. The radio was so good
(ii) I read a book and the book seems to be good
- An egg should be given to children
- They used before abbreviation that is not an organization or political party
- I have bough aW (Volkswagen)
- I have a B.sc (Bachelor of Science)
- I hold a P.H.D of University of Dar es Salaam.
- They used to show the abnormality included the state of illness
- I have a cold
- He was suffered from a headache
- They are recovered fro ma fever
- They are used to describe someone nationality
- He is an American
- She is an African
- He is a Tanzanian
AN is used together with any noun start with vowel sound and silent h sound. These general rules do not reflect the beginning letters or spelling of the noun but the beginning sound.
- An European
- An X-ray
- An F.B.I
- An Egg
- An Umbrella
- An Apple
- An Hour
- ZERO ARTICLES
Is the omission of an article before a noun. Zero articles means no article before noun.
USES OF ZERO ARTICLES
- There is non articles (zero articles) before plural countable noun.
- Boys play very well
- Women speak with authority
- Plants grow during a rain season
- There is no articles (zero articles) before uncountable noun
- There is no articles (zero articles) before a kind of language
- There is no articles (zero articles) before proper noun
EXERCISE NO. 1
Supply suitable article in the space provided either by using a, an or the
- ________________Mt. Kilimanjaro found in Tanzania
- ________________oil is vital in our economy
- I have _________________B.sc of University of Kenyatta
- ________________Nile is _______________longest river
- ___________________exercise book must be returned
- __________________moon must be seen today night
- __________________girl who died is my aunt
- Don’t waste even______________hour today
- _______________electric light bulb contains filaments
- Let us report the news to____P.C.C.B institution for further investigation.
- She is _________________strongest woman in this country
- There is ____________________broken glass on _______________floor
- She arrive here in____________________afternoon
- Report from ______________________UNESCO gives us a true picture
- __________________death of Kinjekitile Ngwale help us Tanzanian to get its independence in 1961.
- _______________United Republic of Tanzania retain its peace environment since independence.
- I have ____________________M.A (Master of Art)
- Take it to________________kitchen
- This is _________________honorable person
- I think you have _________________malaria
- One there was___________________old woman nothing can be done.
- ____________bird flies on the trees
- I have got___________________ headache
EXERCISE NO. 2
Supply either zero article in the space or other types of articles i.e an, a, the
- ____________________grass always grow in the field
- ___________________bird flies in _________________air
- ______________water and _______________milk are uncountable things
- _______________Swedish is very easy to learn
- _________________boys will be able to climb _____________Mt. Kilimanjaro
- ________________egg support ___________________life of use
- _________________John lives in____________________ United State
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