Function of Articles in a Sentence

Function of Articles in a Sentence Video

Hi, and welcome to this quick review of articles!

Articles are some of the most commonly used words in the English language, which makes sense when you think about how incredibly useful they are. In this video, I want to quickly go over what articles are and what they’re used for, and then give you a few practice problems to try on your own. Let’s get started!

So what is an article? An article is a special type of adjective that’s used to indicate if a noun is specific or non-specific. In English, we have three articles: the, a, and an.

The article the is called a “definite article,” and it’s the only definite article in the English language. This means that the is used to describe a specific or particular object. For instance, if you say, “I’m looking for the pen that I used earlier,” you’re talking about a very specific pen, not just any old pen.

But what if you didn’t really care which pen you used? This is where the indefinite articles come in. There are only two indefinite articles: a and an. A is used before words that start with a consonant sound, and an is used before words that start with a vowel sound.

Let’s go back to our pen example. “Does anybody have a pen I could borrow?” In this sentence, you used the indefinite article a because you aren’t looking for a specific pen; you’re looking for any pen that might be available. The reason you didn’t use the article an is because the word pen starts with a consonant sound, not a vowel sound. An example of a sentence that uses an would be, “She brought an orange to eat during class.”

Let’s try out a few example sentences and see if you can guess which article should be used.

1. “Could you bring me _______ that I left in my office?”

  1. a blue notebook
  2. an blue notebook
  3. the blue notebook


2. “She really wants _______ for Christmas.”

  1. a puppy
  2. an puppy
  3. the puppy


3. “It takes me _______ to walk to the mall from my house.”

  1. a hour
  2. an hour
  3. the hour


4. “He hasn’t been to Florida in over _______.”

  1. a year
  2. an year
  3. the year


That’s all for this review! Thanks for watching, and happy studying!


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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: August 2, 2023