1.1 Indefinite article : a or an
it is used :
1.1.1. before a singular noun which represents no particular / specific person or thing :
e.g. We want to stay in a bungalow on the next holiday.
There is a new employee in our unit.
1.1.2. with a noun as complement of to be (linking verbs)
e.g. He is a judge.
She looks like an artist.
1.1.3. in certain numerical expression :
e.g. a couple half a dozen
a hundred a great deal of
1.1.4. in exclamation before singular noun :
e.g. What a hot day ! What a coincidence !
Such a fool ! What a lovely girl !
the indefinite article is not used :
1.1.5. before uncountable nouns (such as :advice, baggage, furniture, information, news, … etc. )
They are often preceded by : some, a little, a lot of.
e.g. Come here ! I’ll give you some advice.
You should buy a lot of furniture for your office.
The nouns of materials can also show a specific thing, then we take article :
See the comparison below :
e.g. Some windows are made of glass.
Would you like to have a glass of wine?
I need to draw it on good paper.
He is reading a paper ( = newspaper)
1.1.6. before abstract noun, except when they are used in particular sense :
e.g. There’s no fear in their face.
A fear of the darkness makes her scream whenever the lamp goes out.
The people who believe in liberty nowadays need a real liberty.
1.1.7. before names of meals, except when preceded by adjective or it is a special meal given to celebrate something :
e.g. We always have lunch at 2 p.m.
My mother always serves us a delicious lunch.
Mom, can I invite him to have dinner with us?
We were invited to a dinner for celebrating her new baby.
1.2. Definite article : THE
The use of the definite article :
1.2.1. before nouns which are considered as one :
e.g. the earth the sky
the weather the White house
1.2.2. before a noun which has become definite because it is mentioned a second time :
e.g. He found a dog at the back of his house. The dog is very dirty and weak.
Be quiet ! There’s a man and a woman inside. The man is saying something to the woman.
1.2.3. before a noun which is made definite by the addition of a phrase or clause :
e.g. the man in blue the man whom I love
the tubes on the shelf the place where we met
1.2.4. before a noun which can represent only one particular thing:
e.g. He is in the garden (* the garden of this house)
Please, pass me the salt (* the salt on the table)
I need to talk to the manager (* my manager)
1.2.5. before superlatives, and ordinal numbers used as adjective or pronoun:
e.g. Bali is the most beautiful Island in Indonesia.
The second is more interesting.
1.2.6. THE + adjectives represents a class of persons :
e.g. The young = young people in general
The young is usually impatient.
The rich = rich people in general
The rich can do anything with money, but they will be useless when they lose it.
1.2.7. before certain proper names of seas, rivers, groups of islands, chains of mountains, plural names of countries, deserts :
e.g. the Artic the Netherlands the Rhine
the Alps the Sahara the West Indies
THE is also used before names consisting of noun + of + noun :
e.g. the Straits of Sunda the Gulf of Mexico
the Union of South Africa the Cape of Kodok (frog)
1.2.8. before musical instrument :
e.g. the flute the violin
1.2.9. before the names of meals if they are qualified by a clause ( see 1.1.3 ) :
e.g. The dinner (which) Mr. Andi gave was memorable.
We couldn’t enjoy the tea time which was held by the director yesterday.
THE is not used :
1.2.10. before names of places (except as shown above) and names of people
e.g. Anton is the girls’ favorite boy in our school.
Malang is where I come from.
some exceptions :
* THE + plural surname can mean “the … family” :
e.g. The Antons = Mr. and Mrs. Anton with their children
* before the title without a name :
e.g. The professor gave some proofs.
She is the Princess of Wales.
1.2.11. before abstract nouns except when they are used in more specific sense ( see also A ) :
e.g. Honesty is one of human needs to have a happy life. Unfortunately, a real honesty, nowadays, becomes more and more difficult.
The honesty of a child is the only one we can believe in.
Life will be more beautiful if we fill it with our creativity.
We should make a better life.
The life of those animals is endangered.
1.2.12. before HOME when it is used alone :
e.g. He went home soon after he had got a call from his parents.
They hurried home because of the rain.
* but THE is used when it is preceded or followed by a descriptive word or phrase :
e.g. This will be the home for homeless.
The only home which he has is the small hut.
1.2.13. before CHAPEL, CHURCH, MARKET, COLLEGE, SCHOOL, HOSPITAL, COURT, PRISON, SEA, BED when they are used for primary purpose :
e.g. to church to pray to court as the witnesses
to market to sell or buy to prison as prisoners
to college to study to sea as sailors
to hospital as patients to bed to sleep
* but when those places above are visited for other reasons, THE is used :
e.g. I went to the church to see the renovation.
He came to the school to speak to the headmaster about his son.
- DEMONSTRATIVES as adjectives
THIS, THESE, THAT, THOSE agree with the nouns in number.
e.g. this boy these boys
that building those buildings
* DEMONSTRATIVES can be used as pronouns :
e.g. This is my result and that is hers.
These are our rooms and those are theirs.
- DISTRIBUTIVE as adjectives
EACH and EVERY mean a number of persons or things considered individually but EVERY can be for all the persons or things: They are followed by SINGULAR verb.
e.g. Every student has the text (= all the students have the texts because the number of the students are the same as the texts)
Each student has the text ( the speaker checked to each student and found that he holds the text)
Every / each woman and man has been informed about the population growth
* EACH + of + plural noun (* it is followed by singular verb)
e.g. Each of the members doesn’t have enough knowledge about the topic in this discussion.
- EACH can be used as pronoun but EVERY can’t :
e.g. A : Why are you still here ? They will make noise.
B : Don’t worry, each knows what to do. ( * Every student knows what to do )
4.1. Cardinal numbers :
e.g. one reason two girls
thirty pounds a hundred men
4.2. Ordinal numbers :
e.g. the first step the second stage
the twelfth floor the third chapter
- SOME, ANY and NO as adjectives
5.1. SOME and ANY mean a certain number or amount.
SOME is used with :
5.1.1. with affirmative sentences
e.g. They got some data.
She is reading some English short stories this week.
5.1.2. with the question when the answer “yes” is expected
e.g. Do you have some questions? Yes, I do.
Did you meet some of your old friends? Of course, I did.
5.1.3. in offers and request
e.g. Would you like some cookies?
Could you do me some favour?
ANY is used :
5.1.4. in negative sentences
e.g. I don’t need any information about that.
There aren’t any students in the classroom.
5.1.5. with HARDLY, RARELY, SCARCELY in positive sentence ( almost negative )
e.g. We have hardly any time for it.
People will rarely find any elephants in this forest.
5.1.6. with question when the answer “NO” is expected
e.g. Did you see any money here ? No, I didn’t
Have you seen any new pictures here ? No, I haven’t since last month.
5.1.7. after IF / WHETHER, and in expression of doubt .
e.g. I’m not sure whether there’s any petrol station around here.
If you should have any problem with this machine, this is our number.
5.2. ANY can mean ‘EVERY’
e.g. Any book about plants will tell you their classification.
You can use any dictionary for this.
5.3. NO and NONE
NO (adjective) and NONE (pronoun) can be used with an affirmative verb to express a negative one.
e.g. I use no glass for this = I don’t use any glass.
They ate up all the dishes. None is for you = there’s not any for you
- MANY and MUCH as adjectives
MANY is used before plural countable noun and MUCH for uncountable one.
e.g. He didn’t make many mistakes.
He needs much blood.
A slight difference in interrogative form:
e.g. Do you have many / a lot of novels?
No, I don’t have many (novels).
Yes, I have a lot (of novels).
Did they get much / a lot of / a great deal of trouble?
No, they didn’t get much trouble.
Yes, they got a lot of / a great deal of trouble.
- A LITTLE / LITTLE, A FEW / FEW as adjective
A LITTLE / LITTLE is used before uncountable noun and A FEW / FEW for countable noun.
A LITTLE is a small amount and A FEW is a small number.
LITTLE and FEW show scarcity or lack and have almost the force of a negative.
e.g. I have a few books of economics (= only have three or four).
I have few books of economics (= I almost don’t have it or I have one or two only).
There is a little fresh water here ( = Both of us still can use it).
There is little fresh water here (= perhaps it’s not enough for both of us).
- OTHER, ANOTHER as adjective
|Singular||another + singular noun||another|
|Plural||Other + plural noun||others|
e.g. A : Have you got their letters?
B : Letters? Is there another one ( as adjective)?
A : Yes, there are two.
Many new students come from Jember and some others (some other new students ) are from regions around Jember.
|Singular||The other + singular noun||The other|
|Plural||The other + plural noun||The others|
e.g. A : Do you have some other styles?
B : No, I have only these two styles.
A : This style is out of fashion while the other looks too crowded
A : Do you see the students whom I have chosen for the contestants?
B : I saw one of them in front of the headmaster’s office just now. But I don’t see the others ( the other students)
* ONE ANOTHER and EACH OTHER :
e.g. Niza and Ditto looked at each other = Niza looked at Ditto and Ditto looked at Niza.
The two naughty boys often shout at each other when they are angry.
ONE ANOTHER is usually used when there are more than two persons.
e.g. The class is so noisy because the students are shouting at and throwing small pieces of paper to one another.
The guests who are attending the party seem to enjoy it because they have known one another.