The origin of the word “article” is a Latin word “articulus” which means a little joint. In the same language the word artus means limb. In English, it points out persons or things like a Demonstrative Adjective. There are no articles in Urdu like those in English. Therefore it becomes difficult for us to know what Article to use and where. Let us understand them step by step. There are three Articles ‘a’ ‘an’ and ‘the’ in English.
Kind of Articles
“A” and “An” are called the indefinite Articles because they only generalize a Noun, for example, a boy a girl.
“The” is called the Definite Article because it points out some particular person or thing; as the doctor, the teacher.
The use of indefinite Article
“A” and “An” are called Indefinite Articles.
“A” is used before
· Words beginning with a consonant; as, a book, a pen, a women etc.
· Words beginning with “U” giving the consonant sound of “You” as A University, a Unit, a useful method, a Unique, a utensil etc.
· Words beginning with “O” giving the consonant sound of “WU”; as such, a one, a one sided view, a one Rupee note etc.
· Words beginning with a vowel, sounded like “you”, as, A European, a eulogy etc.
“An” is used before
· Words beginning with a vowel as an orange, an egg, an ant etc.
· Words beginning with a silent “H”, as an honor, an heir, an honest friend etc.
· Words beginning with a sounded “H” and accented on the second syllable; as an historical building, an heroic act etc.
The use of Definite Article
“The” is called the ‘Definite Article’. It is used:
· When we refer to some particular person or thing; as, let us go to the market (i.e. the market where they usually go). The man standing near the street is a beggar.
· The house you have bought is very expensive.
· When we are talking about some person or thing we have already talked about, for example: A thief entered a house. But the owner of the house woke up and caught the thief.
· With the names of rivers, seas, ocean, gulfs groups of islands, and mountain rangers; as, the Ravi, the British isles, the Himalayas.
· Before a common Noun in the singular number to represent a whole class; as the horse is a useful animal. The rose is a beautiful flower etc.