English Language and Grammar - Articles | Derek Smith | Skillshare

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English Language and Grammar - Articles

teacher avatar Derek Smith, Experienced and qualified teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction to Articles

    • 2. The Definite Article

    • 3. The Indefinite Articles

    • 4. The Zero Article

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn all about articles.

Articles are the words that are used before nouns and we will look at three different sorts of articles, namely:

  • the definite article
  • the indefinite articles
  • the zero article

As usual, there is a class project for you to test your knowledge.

Meet Your Teacher

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Derek Smith

Experienced and qualified teacher


Hello, I'm Derek - a qualified and experienced English trainer.

I have an IT background and have been teaching English to adults for over 10 years.

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1. Introduction to Articles: Hello and welcome to this school. Share course on articles, two articles of these words that go before now owns on. We'll look at three different sorts here, look at the so called definite article. Then we look at indefinite articles on the last thing. We look at a so called zero article or more accurately, when there's no article. It all. This isn't a very long course, but it is important on the topics Do matter. As usual with skill share classes, there is a project for you to test out this new knowledge. At the end. There's some questions where you have to say which article fits in which place and you have a choice off one off definite article, one of the two indefinite articles or a zero article. And if you upload this, I'll correct it and give you feedback and form of the course. 2. The Definite Article: this lesson is on the definite article. There's only one definite article, namely the This is used to identify a specific person, place or thing. We also use the to refer to specific plural announce, and we use the with superlatives. We changed the pronunciation of the before words that start with vowel sounds. Let's look at some examples. We used their to refer to something which has already been mentioned, and we mean that specific one. There's a new position at work. The job will involve some overtime. So referring to a new position at work and the job first to that one. That job the new position. Yesterday, an arm demand dropped the shop. The thief has been caught toe. The thief is the armed man in the previous sentence. We use that there when we assume there was just one of something there, even if it's not already being mentioned. Shall we go for a walk in the woods later? No. In this case, we're assuming you're not surrounded by dozens of woods. There's only really one you can go for. A walk in. Our house is obviously at the library again. You would expect us to be one library, and that's the one we mean. I'm used their toe identify specific personal objects, but this is the nurse who gave me my medicine, any old nurse. But this one business we live in the house at the end of the street, though the house and the street, this specific house, this specific street. I'm used the to identify unique people or objects that the sun rises in the east is only one sun in our solar system. Anyway, it's a beautiful day. There isn't a cloud in the sky again. It's just one sky up there. That's why it's refer to uniquely as this guy. We used that before. Superlatives. Peter is the best swimmer in his class. There's only one best swimmer, so it's the best swimmer. Nana is the oldest person in our family again, only one oldest person, and this is her. I'm used there when we talk about orginal numbers, but Ian passed his driving test on the second try. This is the first time I've been to China. Now there are lessons on superlatives and there are lessons on orginal number, so please feel free to check those out. If you need just to brush up on those now use their with adjectives to refer to a whole group of people. The French are famous for wine and cheese. There are many special care homes for the elderly. Used with decades. There were some dreadful fashion. The stays in the seventies. His parents were born in the sixties, issues with proper names off things like geographical areas, rivers, mountain ranges, islands, oceans, etcetera. Our cruise down the Nile was most enjoyable in the River Nile. In this case, did Hannibal really crossed the Alps with elephants? It is now possible to fly across the Atlantic in only a few hours. Our neighbors went to the Canary Islands on holiday. I also used that when we're referring to famous buildings and works of art museums or monuments, the Mona Lisa is on display at the Louvre. Again. We have two examples here. Mona Lisa is a well, no work of art delivers the building that it's on this plane. The Washington Monument is an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. I'm used the when we're talking about hotels, restaurants and pubs. We're going to the queen's arms after work you want to join us in Queens? Arm is presumably a pub, and that's where they're going after work. It's across the road from the Holiday Inn. That's a swelling where the public is on. We changed the pronunciation. If the word after their starts with a vowel sound the differences, we wouldn't say The elephants is a little bit walk with the elephants, so we say the elephant. But we still write it with one E. We speak it as if it had to again this case, not the elephant, but the elephant is just makes it flow easier. The orange, the SMS but the unicorn Because although the word unicorn starts with a vowel, it doesn't have a vowel sound that we have the unicorn but the SMS Because although SMS starts where the continent has a vowel sound, 3. The Indefinite Articles: this lesson is all about the indefinite articles. They're too indefinite articles in English, namely A and N. We use an when the word that follows indefinite article starts with a vowel sound. In all other cases, we use a as the indefinite article. We use the indefinite article toe, identify a person or a thing that is unspecific or generic on indefinite articles are only used before singular. Announce. As we said, we use an when the word that follows starts with a vowel sound. A notice, we said. Vowels sound, not vowel. It's no avail sound. We use a so we would have an elephant but a big elephant. There's not the noun after it is really the word after it, and we only say an elephant just to make it flow easy when we speak to, say, elephant. It would be very sort of strange and awkward to say a pair and SMS because although SMS starts with a constant, it has a vowel sound, a hotel an hour and here we see they both start with an age, but in hotel the word because there's a harder h two it on in our he's got a vowel sound to it. So is that a hotel? An hour? And here we mark this with a question mark and marked as UK US Gardening in UK English. They would pronounce that word herb, presumably because there's an H at the start of it. So if it was an English speaker, there was, say, a herb. But for some reason, the Americans call it Herb. And they would say on We use indefinite articles to identify a person or a thing that is unspecific or generic. It's dark in here. Can you turn on a light? I don't really care which light. I'm not bothered, but in any life will do not a specific light. I'm still waiting for an answer. I don't know what the answer is. I'm waiting for it. There's an angry customer wanting to speak to the manager Now. Here we have indefinite and definite articles, so there's an angry customer is indefinite. We don't really know who it is or what their problem is, but he wants. They want to speak to the manager, and in that shop there's presumably only one manager. I'll take a message for you. I just need to find a pen, so I don't know what the message is is unspecified, and I don't care which pen it's generic. So who have a sentence with Both cases? Use the indefinite article for jobs, nationalities and religions. Sam is a doctor, Peter is an electrician's. And here was the electrician's starts with a vowel sound so used. An electrician's. Pierre is a Frenchman. An Englishman's home is his castle. Sister Mary is a Catholic nun. Christianity is an Abrahamic religion. As his Islam. We also used the indefinite article instead of the number one. If we wanted to, we could use the number one as well. It would also be correct. Difference is that the market, you might say ID like a pound of apples and four lemons. You could equally as well say I like £1 of apples and four lemons. This recipe is very sweet. It needs a kilo of sugar. I'm in a hurry. I can only stay for a minute on this last example. For a minute, we don't mean literally 60 seconds. We just mean a short while 4. The Zero Article: this lesson is all about zero articles. Zero article is the name we give where a noun is not preceded by an article. I, the A or AN. We use zero articles in generic Kurils, uncountable knowns, proper knowns, abstract knowns, materials and meals we're using for generic pure ALS and uncountable knowns. In the previous examples, we've always highlighted, say, the article or the and verbal or the noun wherever is. The lesson is about B. I put in italics, so it makes it easier to see now. Of course, zero article is is nothing. There's nothing to highlight or put in italics. So what I've done in this particular lesson ISO highlighted the noun that doesn't have an article in front of it. The apples are supposed to be good for you. The generic cruel of apples. We mean apples, all apples, no specific apples. Elephants are big animals, not just specific animals, but generally speaking, elephants are big animals, so we use no article. In this case, dogs usually chase cats again with generalizing. Money makes the world go round. But on uncountable noun is now. Many people listen to music at the gym. There's no specific type of music, that specific band, a specific group person. It was a generalization. Let's save time and drive during the night, and we're talking generally about saving time, not a specific amount of time. We also use zero articles with proper knowns. Kate saw Tom in town yesterday. Both Kate and Tom are proper knowns. Do you have to be a little bit careful? Because there are some languages where these cases of proper now owns? Do have an article on a very common mistake you will see is they might say, this is the Kate sort that Tom in town yesterday. If they literally translate from their language into English and in English, we don't use an article with proper now. And so please be careful with that. Ken is from Hong Kong. Hong Kong is also a proper noun. PS Beats French at Home Sally intends to climb Mount Everest. Mars is closer to us than Saturn. Brenda was born in February, and in all of these examples, you can see the proper noun is in italics, and there's no article in front of them. We also use zero articles or no article with abstract now owns and materials. The beauty and truth are both abstract knowns on by abstract. Now, as we mean, it's nothing tangible you can't like. An apple is a concrete now because you can hold an apple in your hand. Where's things like beauty and truth are abstract. And there is, of course, a section on now owns, and there's a lesson in that on abstract and concrete now, so please feel free to check that out if you need a little bit more information on those honesty is usually the best policy. Envy is not an attractive quality now. Some material examples. The table is made of wood. Tubers are made of metal. Clarinets are usually made off wood or plastic. We've just said that with abstract noun is we don't use an article. However, there are situations when we would use an article, and that is if if we're talking about a specific case off the abstract noun, so to give an example, she acted out of fear. Oh, if it was something specific, we say she has a fear off spiders. Memory is another example of abstract known. We would say he has faded from memory and has been forgotten. But if we're talking about a specific memory, we would use an article. For instance, our first date is a memory that I would cherish forever. Or we can even rephrase that to use a different article. We can say the memory of our first date is something that I will cherish forever. Were we talking about meals? We do know article. Unless we're talking about a meal that also has an adjective? Sounds a bit odd, but we'll see some examples. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. All breakfast? No, a specific breakfast. Penny usually just has some food for lunch. I would like to invite you out for dinner this evening. These are all examples where we have no article before the noun in italics. We say Bob prefers to sleep longer and only has a quick breakfast because breakfast has an adjective in front of it. We then add an article, has a quick breakfast. That was a very tasty dinner. We're talking about that specific dinner as well. There is, however, one exception to the previously mentioned rules about having no article with proper now owns on. I'll show You an example of it now. I met Tom Hanks yesterday, said someone. What the Tom Hanks? No, my sister's new boyfriend has also called Tom Hanks, and we do use an article here as we want to ask about a specific person. So by saying the Tom Hanks, it's like what? That famous one, who most people think of when they hear the name. So this is a small exception to the rule we previously had about when we can use an article with proper noun Xas in names of people.