If English is not your mother tongue, your English Writing may be awkward and a bit difficult. It’s a difficult language, but it’s not impossible.
This article will focus on one topic that may assist you with your English Writing – Definite and Indefinite Articles.
One of the main omissions with writing of English that is not your mother tongue is the “article.”
It is “a” or “the.” It precedes the noun always – and all nouns have them. It acts like an adjective.
An adjective is a word that modifies or describes a noun. Here are three nouns – a person, place, and a thing.
"John" is a Proper Noun.
"Canada" is a Proper Noun
"Desk" is a common noun.
For common nouns, you do need the article or an adjective - and often both together.
The article. The article specifies whether there is a pre-recognition or not.
For example, if I have been talking of a particular “desk,” then I can talk of THE desk.
If there has no pre-recognition, then it could be any desk – there is no specific desk referred to. So, we can talk of A desk.
So, we can speak of “A desk.” (non specific)
We can speak of “THE desk.” (very specific)
Variation of "a" or "an." If the noun begins with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) then we have to add “n” to the indefinite article. To make the pronunciation easier, we talk of
In review, as a general rule, every common noun requires an article – so don’t omit it.
So, let’s try these sentences. Add either the definite or indefinite article.
(a) I have brought my football to the playground. I left ____ football there.
(b) I brought ____ apple for the teacher. I left _____ apple on her desk.
(c) I polished ____ apple at home, and tied it with a bow. Then, I took _____ apple to the teacher.
(a) ...I left the football there. (It has been previously identified as my football, so it's a definite one.)
(b) ...an apple for the teacher. I left the apple on her desk. (In
the first instance, there is no specific reference to a previous apple
so it's indefinite. In the second sentence, however, the reference is
to the apple that I brought - so it is a definite one.)
(c) I polished an apple. I took the apple to the teacher. (In
the first sentence, there is no previous reference to it is
indefinite. In the second sentence, we refer to the apple I polished -
so it is definite.
In English writing, if there is a possessive adjective for the noun, you may omit the article.
…on the desk
…on a desk
…on her desk
However, if you have another adjective for a noun, you can use both an article and the adjective:
...on the new desk
writing, review for accurate use of the definite and indefinite
articles. Find all the nouns. Check to see if they need the article
and which article they need.
Learning how to write with the definite and indefinite articles will help you become an accomplished master of English writing.
LINK - Return from English Writing - the Article to Professional Business Writing