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This page discusses - Articles

This page discusses - Articles



This section gives you brief description about the article. Article is nothing but a manuscript published in an journal, magazine or part of a larger work such as an encyclopedia. These days people publish articles on the web site. Visitors of the web site reads the articles to get more information about the particulars topic. In programming world many web site publish article for free. is one those site publishing articles for free. These articles are organized in categories for easy retrieval and reference.

Here is more information about articles (from ):

 An article is a word that is put next to a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun.

Articles can have various functions

  • a definite article (English the) is used before singular and plural nouns that refer to a particular member of a group. (The cat on the mat is black.)
  • an indefinite article (English a, an) is used before singular nouns that refer to any member of a group. (A cat is a mammal).
  • a partitive article indicates an indefinite quantity of a mass noun; there is no partitive article in English, though the words some or any often have that function. An example is French du / de la, as in Voulez-vous du café ? ("Do you want some coffee?" or "Do you want coffee")
  • a zero article is the absence of an article (e.g. English indefinite plural), used in some languages in contrast with the presence of one. Linguists hypothesize the absence as a zero article based on the X-bar theory.

For other means of marking these things besides articles, see Definiteness.

Presence in various languages

Some languages such as Swahili rarely use articles, indicating such distinctions in other ways or not at all. Some other languages, including Latin, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Sanskrit, Slovak, Tamil and Thai do not have them at all and definiteness may be indicated by words meaning "one" and "that" or by word order.

Other languages, including Welsh and Hebrew and the constructed languages Esperanto or Ido, have definite articles, but no explicit indefinite articles. For example, in Welsh, the house is y tŷ, while a house is . Likewise, in Hebrew the house is הבית (ha-bayit), while a house is בית (bayit).

In the history of many languages, definite articles formerly were demonstrative pronouns or adjectives; compare the evolution of the Latin demonstrative ille in the Romance languages, becoming French le, Spanish el, and Italian il, while indefinite articles originate or are same as the numeral for one.

Many European languages that have grammatical gender usually have their article agree with the gender of the noun (French le 'the' masculine, la feminine). Articles in several languages also change according to the number of the noun. In French, since the plural forms marked on nouns often no longer affect pronunciation, the article marks the number of the noun.

When homonyms have a different gender in these languages, the articles can differentiate them, as in Spanish, where la cólera (feminine) is "anger" and el cólera (masculine) is "cholera", or German, where die Steuer (feminine) is "the tax" and das Steuer (neuter) is "the steering-wheel", or Swedish, where en plan (common) is "a plan" and ett plan (neuter) is "a plane".

The use of articles may vary between languages. For example, French uses its definite article in cases where English uses no article, such as in general statements about a mass noun: Le maïs est un grain ("Maize is a grain").

Both ancient and modern Greek use the definite article with proper names: ὁ Ἰησοῦς ho Iēsoûs ("the Jesus"), and, optionally, before both a noun and each of its adjectives: ὁ πατὴρ ὁ ἀγαθός ho patēr ho agathós (literally, "the father the good"; naturally, "the good father"). In Portuguese, proper names are preceded by an article, except if language is formal and there is no title before the name. Similarly, in German colloquial speech you may say "Ich habe mit der Claudia gesprochen" (literally, "I have with the Claudia spoken"); also, in colloquial northern Italian, phrases like "Ho parlato col Marco" ("I have spoken with the Marco) are common, and Catalan grammar prescribes constructions such as He parlat amb la Gemma (lit. "I have spoken with the Gemma").

By the same token, the words used as English articles have other grammatical functions. See A, an.

In the Scandinavian languages, the definite article can be a suffix. In Swedish, planen is "the plan", and planet is "the plane", and a double definite article is possible, in which a free-standing article (det, den, de) and the definite article suffix are used together (det vita planet "the white plane"). Curiously, planen is also the plural definite form for the neuter "the planes". Several languages in the Balkans also use suffixes for articles. This is regarded as an effect of the Balkan linguistic union. For example, in Romanian, consulul is 'the consul'. Macedonian and Bulgarian share the pattern; for example, drvo means "tree", while drvoto means "the tree" (durvo and durvoto in Bulgarian).

The, the English grammatical article

Main article: The

The word the functions primarily as the definite grammatical article in English.

The and that are common developments from the same Old English system. Old English had a definite article se, in the masculine gender, seo, feminine, and þæt, neuter. These words functioned both as demonstrative pronouns and as grammatical articles. In Middle English these had all fallen together into þe, the ancestor of the Modern English word.

Because the word the is common in movie and book titles, they are placed invertedly, such as Grudge, The, for convenience when looking for a title.

In some northern British dialects of English, "the" is pronounced as [t] or as a glottal stop, usually written in dialect dialogue as t', a phenomenon known as definite article reduction. It is controversially claimed that in some northern dialects around Hull the definite article has been lost: for example, I'm going down the/t'pub vs I'm going down pub, though the glottal stop is often hard to hear.


The following discussion is meant to give pointers in the uses of the grammatical articles the and a for non-native speakers.

When using English, the can be thought of as similar to a little computer cursor. Where the cursor is resting, one's attention also rests.

The chair ...
It is customary to focus on the word following the word the with the questions 'who', 'where', 'when', 'why', 'what', 'how', and then wait for the rest of the sentence, which should complete the meaning.
The chair is ...
Now it gets interesting - is implies NOW, so the listener should pay attention for a current event!
The chair is broken.
The sentence is completed; the listener sits on that specific chair at his own peril.

We may think of the as related to this or that. If you say the chair is broken, you expect the person to know which chair you mean--this chair, that chair, the only chair in the room.

We may think of a as meaning one or any one. So if you say a chair is broken it means that only one is broken and it is unknown which one.

Consider the difference between these two sentences: I am looking for a book OR I am looking for the book. In the first case, you do not expect your listener to know what book you are looking for. Perhaps you do not even have any particular book in mind (I am looking for a book to read on the plane, but I don't know what book I want.) However, if you say, I am looking for the book, you are telling your listener that you expect him to know what book that is. (I am looking for the book you asked for, or I am looking for the book I lost, or I am looking for the only book in the room, etc.)

Usually a plural noun with zero article is used for making a generalization, but for count nouns, we can also use a. Thus: Cats can climb trees and A cat can climb a tree both are telling us something about cats in general, not an unknown cat or a specific cat.

We often use the indefinite article (a/an) for first mention and the definite article (the) thereafter, to show that we are talking about the same one we just mentioned. For example:

A man walked into a bank. (I don't expect you to know who the man is or what bank he walked into.) The man walked up to a teller, pointed a gun at her, and asked her for money. (same man, but teller, gun and money are new information, first mention.) The teller gave the man the money. (same teller, same man,same money.) The man ran out of the bank and got into a car. (same man, same bank, first mention of car.)

In a sentence "__ John was lying on the chair" the noun phrase "__ John" is said to have a zero article rather than no article. Compare to "A book was lying on a chair", here the noun phrase "a book" clearly has an article. Thus it is logical to assume that a noun phrase "___ John" should have an article as well. Generally proper nouns, such as names, are automatically definite and use zero article.