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The Use of Articles with Nouns Modified by Certain Adjectives, Pronouns and Numerals

1. Most.

Most + adjective

The definite article is used when most serves to form the superlative degree of an adjective.

This is the most interesting chapter in the book.

The use of the indefinite article shows that a high degree of a quality is meant. Most has the same meaning as very, exceedingly.

Caroline found that the old maid had been a most devoted daughter and sister.

Note. Occasionally the form of the superlative degree does not express comparison, but a high degree of a quality.

He listened with the most profound attention.

Most + of+ noun

When definite people or things are meant the noun is used with the definite article and most is followed by the preposition of.

Most of the gentlemen looked both angry and uncomfortable.

We say most, not most of the, when we do not mean definite people or things. The noun is used in a general sense.

Most flowers smell sweet.

2. Few, a few, the few; little, a little, the little

Few means , it has a negative meaning. A few means , it has a positive meaning. The few means , . It is used with countable nouns.

He was a very good man. There are few like him in the world today.

He left after a few moments.

You need not fear to hear the few remaining words we have to say.

Little means , it has a negative meaning. A little means , it has a positive meaning. The little means . It is used with uncountable nouns

We can't go skiing today. There is too little snow.

We have a little time. Let us take a walk in the garden.

Don't waste the little time you have.


3. Two, the two; the second, a second

Cardinal numerals always serve as descriptive attributes.

He had refused two invitations to Sunday parties.

If a noun modified by a cardinal numeral is used with the definite article, this is accounted for by the situation or context.

The two days seemed an age to him.

Two means . The two means .

Ordinal numerals are usually particularizing attributes.

During the second week in October she met him in Oxford Street.

However, when ordinal numerals are not used to indicate order but acquire the meaning of one more or another, the noun they modify is used with the indefinite article.

They must have a third race to decide who the real winner is.

Note 1: The above mentioned rule does not apply to the numeral the first. The combination a first night (쒺) and a first prize are to be regarded as set phrases.

Note 2: Remember the use of articles in the following patterns with nouns modified by cardinal and ordinal numerals: the third chapter but chapter 3 (three), the fifth page but page 5 (five).

Note 3: An article is not used with ordinal numbers when referring to names of prizes and when listing ideas:

First, lock the door. Second, put the key in a safe place.

First prize in the Olimpics is a gold medal.


4. Another, the other, other.

The definite article is used with a singular noun modified by other if there are only two objects of the same description.

He pulled on the other glove and said he would run along to his office.

If there are more than two objects of the same description, the indefinite article is used (another). In this case another has three meanings: , - , , .

Could I have another cup of tea?

The definite article is used with a plural noun modified by other if there is a definite number of objects divided into two definite groups.

I was thinking of other people in the same position.

The same rules are applied to other when it is used as a noun pronoun.

He drove with one hand, and used the other to draw diagrams in the air. Young Martin was first sent on an errand to the grocer, then on another to the butcher.

Note: Notice also that the other day () is to be regarded as a set phrase.


5. Last, the last; Next, the next.

Nouns modified by the adjective last are always used with the definite article except in the expressions last month, last year, last week, last summer (winter, autumn, spring).

The last word remained with George.

Next means '' when referring to time: next month, next week.

The next means '': the next room, at the next lesson.

Next time means .

We shall discuss this matter next time.

In reference to time viewed from the past both next and the next mean

We spent a fortnight in Kiev. The next week was spent in Odessa (or: Next week was spent in Odessa).

6. A number, the number

A number of means 'many'. It is rendered in Ukrainian by , .

The number means ', '.

His father and a number of his cronies were in the dining-room.

The number of mistakes he makes is startling.

Note: An article is not used when referring to numbers or letters in a list:

In question number 5, A is the correct response.


Date: 2015-01-11; view: 300

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