What are Definite and Indefinite Articles in English Grammar

In this section we’ll learn about articles in English grammar, their two types definite and indefinite with the help of examples.

What is an Article ?

An article is a word or a letter which is used before noun and tells us about the certainty of that noun.
There are two kinds of articles in English :

  1. Indefinite articles – A and An
  2. Definite article – The

Indefinite Articles – A and An

A or An is called the Indefinite Article because it leaves indefinite (unknown or unstated) the person or thing spoken of.
Let us understand this with the help of an example :

  • A boy means any boy.
  • A girl means any girl.
  • An apple means any apple.
  • An elephant means any elephant.

Read more about Where and How to Use Indefinite Articles A and An .

Definite Article – The

The is called the Definite Article, because it points out some particular person or thing which is know to hearer or reader.
For example,

  • He invited the player. Here it means some particular player.
  • She called the chef. Here it means some particular chef.
  • The Prime minister is visiting Varanasi. Here Prime minister is a particular person.

Read more on How to properly use Definite Article – The.

Let’s take an example sentence to better understand the concepts of articles.

After the tiring workout, the glass of milk tasted really amazing.

By using the article the, we are showing it was one specific workout that was tiring, and one specific glass of milk that tasted amazing.

After a tiring workout, a glass of milk tasted really amazing.

By using the article a, we’ve created a general statement, implying that any glass of milk would taste amazing after any tiring workout, we are not being specific here.

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