Ajax Loader Articles For Competitive Exams| Grammar Basics

In this article you will learn:

  • Articles
  • Definite and Indefinite Articles
  • Ruled in Using Articles

Exam Connect:

Articles are words that are used to mark whether a noun is specific or not. There are two kinds of articles: Definite and Indefinite. Usually, a candidate is a sentence where he/ she has to fill in the appropriate article. Article questions for competitive exams are one of the most important parts of the verbal ability section of English for Entrance Exams. Questions appear in the forms of:    

  • Fill in the blanks
  • Choose the right Option
Articles

Definite and Indefinite Articles

Consider the following example:

A bus ran into a wall the other day. Luckily, the people in the bus had no serious injuries.

Look at the first sentence. It talks about a bus and a wall. We are not sure which bus or which wall. They are not definite. But the second sentence talks about the bus and the people. Here, we know which bus we are talking about- the one that ran into the wall, and who we are talking about- the people within the bus that ran into a wall. It is definite. Hence the articles a and an means “not any particular one” or “any”, making them indefinite articles. Meanwhile the meaning is “the one already mentioned” or the “one that you and I know about”, making it a definite article. Consider the following sentences:

  • Give me a pencil. (=any pencil)
  • Give me the pencil. (=a particular pencil, probably my own).

Rules in Choosing Articles

Rule 1

The article a is used before nouns starting with consonant letters and sounds, and the article an is used with those starting with vowel letters and sounds. Consider the following sentences:

  • I am having a banana.
  • I am having an apple.

Here, the articles a and an are used before words starting with a consonant letter and a vowel letter, respectively. Now consider the following sentences:

  • I am an honest person.
  • I am a United nations Goodwill ambassador.

Here, an and a are used before words starting with a vowel sound and a consonant sound, respectively.

Rule 2

When it comes to acronyms and initials, the article changes according to the sound of the first letter. Consider the following examples:

  • A UN conference.
  • An LED screen.
Rule 3

Articles used before adjectives are chosen based on the first sound of the word that immediately follows it. Consider the following sentences:

  • I would like a small gift for my birthday.
  • It was an interesting movie.
Rule 4

Indefinite articles are never used with uncountable nouns like water or milk. But if those nouns are described in countable units, then indefinite articles can be used. Consider the following sentence as an example:

  • She bought a bottle of water.
Rule 5

Articles are never used with pronouns.

Rule 6

‘Zero article’ or ‘null article’ refer to occasions when an article is not used before a noun in the sentence. This happens when the noun is a proper noun or is a singular countable noun.

Eg: I will go after breakfast.

Here, no article is used for the noun breakfast.

Articles

Articles Practice Questions

Fill in the blanks by choosing the correct option:

1. This is _____ dress I wanted.

A) A     B) AN         C)THE        D) None of the Above

Answer: C

Explanation: The speaker talks about a particular dress. Hence the article should be definite.

2. 100 centimeters makes ________ meter.

A) A     B) AN         C)THE        D) None of the Above

Answer: A

Explanation: Meter is a singular word starting with a consonant sound. Hence the article a is used.

3. It was ______ honorable decision.

A) A     B) AN         C)THE        D) None of the Above

Answer: B

Explanation: The article is followed by an adjective starting with a vowel sound. Hence the article an is used.

4. I need ______ juice.

A) A     B) AN         C)THE        D) None of the Above

Answer: D

Explanation: The article is followed by an uncountable noun. Hence no article is used.

5. Please wait _____ minute.

A) A     B) AN         C)THE        D) None of the Above

Answer: A

Explanation: Minute is a singular word starting with a consonant sound. Hence the article a is used.

Articles

Hope this article was helpful to you in understanding the Articles section of entrance exams. English for Entrance Exams is generally an easy section for any entrance examinations, but the grammar part of it has always confused exam takers. Questions of the section conduct tests about the in-depth knowledge of a student in using the English Language.

Check your knowledge about the concept of articles by trying out a quiz. Click here to begin.

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