A / an versus The

English has two articles: «the» and «a/an». «The» is used to refer to specific or particular nouns; «a/an» is used to modify non-specific or non-particular nouns. We call «the» the definite article and «a/an» the indefinite.

«the» = definite article

Let’s read the book. – Meaning a specific book

«a/an» = indefinite article

Let’s read a book. – Meaning any book (there are a number of books) rather than a specific book

“A” and “an” show that the noun is indefinite, referring to any member of a group.

My little son really wants a dog for his birthday. – This refers to any dog. We don’t know which dog because we haven’t found the dog yet. 

Somebody call a doctor! – This refers to any doctor. We don’t need a specific doctor; we need any doctor who is available.

When I was at the zoo, I saw a giraffe! – We’re talking about a single, non-specific thing, in this case a giraffe. There are probably several giraffes at the zoo, but there’s only one we’re talking about here.

Remember, using a or an depends on the sound that begins the next word.

a + singular noun beginning with a consonant

a boy; a car; a bike; a zoo; a dog

an + singular noun beginning with a vowel

an elephant; an egg; an apple; an idiot; an orphan

a + singular noun beginning with a consonant sound

a user; a university; a unicycle

If the noun is modified by an adjective, the choice between a and an depends on the initial sound of the adjective that immediately follows the article:

a broken egg

an unusual problem

a European country

The definite article is used before singular and plural nouns when the noun is specific or particular. The shows that the noun is definite, that it refers to a particular member of a group.

The dog that bit me ran away. – Here, we’re talking about a specific dog, the dog that bit me.

I was happy to see the doctor who saved my life! – Here, we’re talking about a particular doctor. Even if we don’t know the doctor’s name, it’s still a particular doctor because it is the one who saved the person’s life. 

I saw the giraffe at the zoo. – Here, we’re talking about a specific noun. Probably there is only one giraffe at the zoo.

We say the… when it is clear which thing or person we are talking about.

the door

of a particular room

the ceiling

the floor

the carpet

the light

Turn off the light and close the door.

the roof

of a particular house

the balcony

the terrace

the garden

the kitchen

Where’s your sister? She’s playing in the garden.

the centre

of a particular town

the station

the airport

the town hall

the downtown

How do I get to the station?



Упражнение на неопределенный артикль 
Упражнения на определенный артикль The


Упражнения на артикли


Упражнения на артикли 


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