Use of a, an and the
Read the following aloud:
A ball, a cup, a mango, a lion, a rose, a goat, a tree, a pen, a deer, a chair, a horse…….
An apple, an orange, an elephant, an egg, an onion, an ice-cream, an umbrella, an eye……
We know that there are 26 letters in the English alphabet – ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.
Say the following aloud – a, e, i, o, u. These can be spoken alone and are called Vowel Sounds.
All the other letters usually produce Consonant Sounds.
- Now look at the above examples again:
A is used before words beginning with a consonant sound and an is used with words beginning with a vowel sound.
Remember: A and an stand for one – a book means one book; an orange means one orange.
‘H’ in hour and honest is silent. These words begin with a vowel sound.
- Now read the following sentences:
- The Earth is round.
- The Bible is a holy book.
- The boys are playing cricket.
- The Sun gives us light.
- The flowers in the vase are red.
We use a or an while speaking of any one person or thing.
We use the while speaking of a particular (definite) person or thing.
We use the with the special names of places, rivers, mountain ranges, books, etc. as, the museum, the White Hall, the Thames, the Bible.
We use the with unique objects; as, the Sun, the moon, the Earth, the sky, the world, the President etc.