Types of Articles


What are Articles? Articles, like adjectives, modify nouns. In other words, they add more information about nouns. In English, there are two types of articles:

Indefinite Articles are “a” and “an,” and sometimes “some.” They indicate nonspecific noun phrases. Use “a” before a consonant sound, and use “an” before a vowel sound.

Let’s go to a movie. (not a specific movie)

I’m in the mood for an orange. (not a specific orange)

I need some stamps. (not a specific number of stamps)

The Definite Article, “the,” is used to indicate specific or known nouns or noun phrases.

There are also situations where use of the definite article indicates a noun or noun phrase was used elsewhere in a text. The first mention required an indefinite article because the noun was unknown to the reader. Subsequent mentions require the definite article because the noun is now known to the reader.