July 19, 2008

ARTICLES: A, AN and THE

In English grammar Articles are but three small words that do significant and important jobs as their use and non use make the differences in meanings of sentences as they either determine the number of nouns or work as back referencer (like pronoun in case of Noun) or make a group (the rich). Though articles are small words still their role in a sentence is big.

There are three articles which are categorized into two groups such as Definite Article and Indefinite Article. ‘The’ is the definite article and both ‘A’ and ‘An’ are known as Indefinite article. Sometimes nouns require no article and that condition is known as ‘Zero article’ (Books are known as best chum for all).

A and An are used two make plural nouns as singular. When a noun begins with a vowel sound (A, E, I, O and U) takes ‘An’ and those nouns which begin with any one of the other 21 consonant letter takes ‘A’ while making singular expression. Not only do letters but vowel sounds also necessitate the use of ‘An’ though the initial letter happens to be consonant.

Cow is a domestic animal. A cow has two fore legs.

He has an umbrella which is red in color.

The above two sentences make the rule clear. Let’s analyze the sound or pronunciation part.

We call an MLA or an MP. A US spokesperson.

(The pronunciation of ‘M’ begins with ‘A’)

An heir, An hour, An honest man.

But

A university, An European.

(Here the choice of article is determined by the sound of the noun. Generally, vowels have two sounds and sometimes more than one vowel unite to complete the required sound. One sound is known ‘Soft Sound’ that ends abruptly and the ‘Hard Sound’ that lingers on and ends up producing a consonant sound like the U in University. It is not only the initial vowel but also vowel sounds of nouns that determine the use of article ‘A’ and ‘An.’

Let’s discuss about the pronunciation pattern of ‘The.’

When there happens to be an initial vowel letter or initial vowel sound ‘The’ is pronounced /di/ and in the rest of cases it is pronounced as /da/.

The /da/ books of our time were very bulky and informative.

The /di/ ancestors of Ram were great men of caliber.

N: B: Want to know more about articles? Please do visit the blog regularly as all the following installments of your choice or your inclination regarding articles and other grammatical entities will be covered by and by. So follow me to catch more and more

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