A, AN, THE - Articles in English



Learning article in short


And welcome to the next video

Today I'm going to teach you about

a very difficult




grammar point

called articles


Oh, really ? Yeah

Articles are confusing

there are many many rules

in english about articles

I do not have the time

the energy

to teach you all of them

but I'll do my best



What are articles first of all ?

Articles are



and THE

Articles come before a noun

A noun is : a person

a place

or a thing


I'm going to generalise here

and say that

before most nouns in english

you have to use an article

Of course there are millions of exceptions

to what I've just said

Sometimes we do not use an article with a noun

That's a whole other lesson

Hold the time warp for your brain

we're gonna stick to these ones

When to use A


and THE

before a noun in a proper english sentence

We use these

when we speak

when we write

and they're very important in grammar


There's no way to avoid these

I'll help you don't worry

The first one is AN

AN's easy

It's the easiest we'll do this one first


is a singular noun


is used in the singular nouns

it's in article


we use it before

the noun that starts with a vowel


the pronunciation of this word

sounds like


the vowels in english we have five vowels in english

they are





and U


Everyone who speaks spanish



any of our latin american friends

or latin language speakers

you're gonna mix up these two vowels E and I

Let me teach you one thing that will help you

If you can remember

that you have to dot your I

you're gonna get the pronunciation of this word

so this word

or this letter sorry

When you write this letter

You always have to put a *ping* a dot

in the middle of the word

so you're going to remember that

this I

you can make a nice little EYE here

to help you

So, I

When you write this word

by itself you have to use a capital

so this would only be in the middle of a word

but the pronunciation is the same



If you have a vowel

A, E, I, O, U

that begins

the noun

you have to use AN

for example



We have to say

"an eye"

because the word eye begins with a vowel

If the word begins with

this word

with this letter I

for example "ice cream" yey

We have to say "I'd like AN ice cream"

Do you like ice cream ?


If the word begins with a vowel sound

How can, what is a vowel sound Ronnie ?

A vowel sound is usually always

the letter H

for example

the word


We do not even say the H word

it sounds like we're saying "our"


Because this word "hour"

sounds like a vowel because the H

is silent

We have to say

"an hour"

Ok, you got it? You with me?

"an hour" so


We use before

a vowel


before a vowel sound


a noun that begins with an H

The next one is A

The very first letter of our alphabet


is a vowel

Don't let that confuse you


We use

for again a singular noun

All of these are going to be used with singular nouns

If the noun is plural

if the noun has an S

Do not use an article



We use for a singular noun

in a general form

You can think of this

easier as

using, replacing it with the word "any"


If you go


a coffee shop

and they have

five muffins

and they're all the same muffin

You're going to say to the person that works at the coffee shop


"I'd like A muffin"

You do not get to choose

or pick

what muffin you get

You can choose the flavor

but you cannot specifically choose

which muffin you would like

It's the same

as saying "any"

It's like saying

"I'd like any muffin"

"Just get me a muffin"

"I want a muffin"

"I'd like anything"

"Just give me something"

Okay ?

It's used for when you don't care which one it is

You just want one of something


If my nose was stuffy and I had to blow my nose

I would ask someone

"Do you have A Kleenex ?"

I don't

have to go through the box

of Kleenexes

"No, I don't want that one"

"No, yes, this, no"

You're just gonna get A Kleenex and you're gonna blow your nose

Okay ?


A and AN

the only difference is

AN you use before a vowel

as an example

You can say

"I'd like



I was going to write coffee maybe I want a coffee right now

but I would definitely rather have

a cookie

I don't care which cookie you give me

Just give me a cookie

I'm the cookie monster

Okay ?


"I'd like a cookie"

I'd like any cookie

The next



THE next is THE


is opposite to A


means something very very very specific

general and specific are opposite

this means

you actually choose

which one

you are going to get

Think about this when you go shopping

You do not walk into a store and go

"Hi, could I have a shirt ?"

"I don't care what it looks like I don't care how much it is

"Just gimme a shirt"

This never happens


When you go shopping for shoes

You just don't go into the shoe store and say

"Just a pair of shoes please"

"Just a pair of shoes"

"Don't care"

"Size 8, fine, anything"


We want to go though all of the shoes

We want to try them all on

We want to get a handbag and match them

with our shoes

and choose

the shoes of our dreams

So you're not going to say "A pair of shoes"

You're gonna say "THE"


Another very confusing thing

about THE


the second time

you talk

about the same noun

in a phrase

you have to put

the second noun with THE

for example

This is a little more difficult

"I bought

some fruit"

Okay ?


is an uncountable noun

If the noun is uncountable

we do not use an article

"I bought some fruit"

"THE fruit

was bad"

But Ronnie you just said

if it's an uncountable noun

we don't use an article

What are you doing ?

Have you lost your mind ?


This is a grammar rule

The first time I talk about the fruit

I use no article

because it's uncountable


the second time I'm talking about the same noun

I have to

I don't know why I just have to it's a rule

So I have to say "THE fruit"

"THE fruit was bad"

The third point

when we use the article THE

the article THE

I'm using articles all the time


when the speaker

and the listener

or the reader

whatever, if you're reading or listening


they both know


noun you are talking about

for example

If you and your friends

go to the same school

you have to say "THE school"

If I were talking to my friend on the phone and I said

"Hey, yeah, hum

Oh, I left my book at the school"

My friend and I both know

what school I am talking about

In my city there are 2,5 million schools

There's a lot of schools in Toronto

There are 2,5 million people

and a lot of people go to different schools

but because my friend and I go to the same school

I have to say "THE school"

"I'm going to go

to THE school tomorrow"

You and I both know we're talking about the same one

Okay ?

The next one is

we use with countries

but only 1% of the countries of the world

So I ask you

What country are you from ?

I am from Canada

We have listeners from all over the world

I would guarantee that 99% of you

would not use an article with your country name

I come from Canada

Below Canada there's a country

it's a big country called

anyone know?

Below Canada ? Geography time

The United States of America

or, shorter

the USA

A lot of people, their ancestors

in Canada came from a country

a group of countries called the United Kingdom

THE United Kingdom


There's a country in the middle east called

the United Arab Emirates

If anyone from there ?

I went there once in an airplane

It's cool

The United States

The United Kingdom

The United Arab Emirates

All of these three countries

we have to use THE


there is the word "united" in the title

of the country

I do not say "the" Canada

I do not say "the" Japan

If the word has "united" in it I say "the"

The second one is

if the country has more than two words

in the name

you're gonna say "the"

for example "New Zealand"

New Zealand only has two words

I do not say 'the' New Zealand

If it has more than two words

I have to put "the"

in front of the country

The last one is the most difficult

If you are like me and did not do well in geography class

this one's hard

we have to use THE

if the country is comprised of

tiny or small islands

I do not expect everyone in the world to know

which countries are made of small islands

but to help you out

off the top of my head

the Philippines

if you look at a map

The Philippines has many tiny little islands

that make one country

another example would be The West Indies

The Canary Islands

these are all places

that have small islands that

form one country


If you look at Japan for example

Japan has

maybe five or more islands

but there are quite large

so we cannot use this as "the Japan"

They have to be very small islands

I hope you understand this

If you have a question please leave me a comment

if you need more help with this

please ask me