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Omission of The Article

1. Normally no article is used before a noun (an abstract one or a countable one in the plural) when you mean something in general: I like animals. Knowledge is power.

2. You do not use the article before proper nouns (names of peoples, streets, roads, individual islands, countries and states, towns and citiess, continents and lakes when the word "lake" is used):

My friend Ted lives in Britain. Piccadilly Circus is a square in London. Where is Lake Superior situated?

Exceptions: the High Street, the Strand (street)

No article is used before the names consisting of two nouns when the first word is the name of a person or a place:

Kennedy Airport Victoria Station

Buckingham Palace Westminster Abbey

Hyde Park Oxford University

3. You say no article with names of materials, metals, food products used in the general sense: Gold is an expensive metal. Milk is good for children.

4. No article is used with nouns after the verbs to elect, to appoint, to make: He was appointed sales manager.

5. You use no article with nouns in direct address: Good afternoon, professor.

6. No article is used before nouns in newspaper headlines, telegrams and stage directions: Fog stops play.

7. You say no article before nouns modified by cardinal numerals: Open your books at page 75.

8. Prison, school, university, college, church. You say a criminal goes to prison, a child goes to school etc. You do not use the when you are thinking of the idea of these places and what they are used for. Compare:

After I leave school, I want to go to university. (as a student) Mr. Brown went to the school to meet his son's teacher. (He did not go there as a pupil.)


There is a number of fixed word-combinations in which the nouns are used with the indefinite article, or with the definite article only (lists 1 and 2 correspondingly). List 3 contains the word-combinations without any article before nouns.

List 1: a lot of, a great deal of, a good deal of, a great number of, a few, a little, all of a sudden, as a result of, as a matter of fact, at a time, for a short (long) time, in a loud (low) voice, it is a pity, to be in a hurry, to be at a loss, to have a good time, to have a mind, to have a headache, to have a cold, to go for a walk, to take a seat, it's a shame.

List 2: in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in the night, in the country, on the right (left), on the one (other) hand, on the whole, the day before yesterday, the day after tomorrow, the other day, to go to the cinema (the pictures, the theatre), to tell the truth, to pass the time. What is the time?

List 3: at night, at dinner (breakfast, supper), at home, at school, at work, at dawn (sunset), at first sight, at table, in (on) time, at war, in debt, in fact, in conclusion, on board a ship, on deck, on sale, on credit, by bus (train, tram, boat, plane), by air, by day, by post, by air mail, by heart, by chance, by mistake, by name, day after day, day and night, to be in bed, to go to bed, after school, from morning to (till) night, from time to time, to have breakfast (lunch, dinner, supper), to be in hospital, to keep house, at sunrise, to start (finish) work, to go (come, get, arrive) home.


Date: 2014-12-29; view: 118

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THE DEFINITE ARTICLE | Before Proper Nouns
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