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1. Articles (a, an, the) are determiners or noun markers that function to specify if the noun is general or specific in its reference. Often the article chosen depends on if the writer and the reader understand the reference of the noun.

2. The articles a and an are indefinite articles.

3. The article the is a definite article. It is used to show specific reference and can be used with both singular and plural nouns and with both countable and uncountable nouns.

4. Uncountable noun: The noun refers to something that cannot be counted. It does not have a plural form.

5. Proper noun: The name of a person, place, or organization and is spelled with capital letters.

6. When to use a or an A and an are used with singular countable nouns when the noun is nonspecific or generic. I do not own a car

7. A is used when the noun that follows begins with a consonant sound. a book

8. An is used when the noun that follows begins with a vowel sound. an elephant

9. When to use the: The is used with both singular and plural nouns and with both countable and uncountable nouns when the noun is specific.

10. The is used in the following categories of proper nouns: Museums and art galleries: the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art Buildings: the Empire State Building, the Willis Tower Seas and oceans: the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean Rivers: the Mississippi, the Nile Deserts: the Sahara Desert, the Sonora Desert Periods and events in history: the Dark Ages, the Civil War Bridges: the London Bridge, the Mackinac Bridge Parts of a country: the South, the Upper Midwest

11. Use the when a noun can be made specific from a previous mention in the text. This is also known as second or subsequent mention.

12. The is used with superlative adjectives, which are necessarily unique (the first, the second, the biggest, the smallest, the next, the only.)

13. No Article--Generic Reference Writers sometimes struggle with the choice to include an article or to leave it out altogether.

14. No article is used when a plural countable noun is generic or nonspecific. I bought new pens and pencils at the store. (general, not specific ones). No article is used when a noncount noun is generic or nonspecific

15. Articles in Phrases and Idiomatic Expressions: Sometimes article usage in English does not follow a specific rule. These expressions must be memorized instead.

16. There are also numerous idiomatic expressions in English that contain nouns. Some of these also contain articles while others do not.

17. Destinations: go to the store, go to the bank, but go to school, go to church, go to bed, go home Locations: in school, at home, in bed, but in the hospital