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Is a form word that serves as a noun determiner.

2. Fill in the following table.

  Indefinite article Definite article Absence of the article. Zero article Omission of the articles
Pronunciation and spelling rules        
Functions · Classifying=a certain · Generic=any · Numerical=one
  • Specifying=certain
  • Generic= the whole class (higher degree of abstraction)
The highest degree of abstraction. In a general sense.
  1. For economy of expression
  2. + other ellipses: Omission of prep., aux.
Usage notes
1. N in Sing. 2. ! AN only child, A first (second) attempt, A last look=farewell 3. --“any”// a tiger can kill a man. A man in a library is called a librarian. --in aspect tense forms // a dog barked. --no individualizing// a complex sentence has… --in proverbs and sent. expressing general truth // a friend in need is… 4. Non Count →Count=” a portion, glass of” // a coffee. 5. With material or abstract (“a kind of, a sort of”) N. a particular substance mentioned. // It was a profound knowledge of man. I remember a time… … an after life. A very interesting information. 6. In adv. Modifiers of comparison. // I can read you like a book. As strong as a lion.    
  1. Non-C and C N in Sing. and Pl.
  2. + “very, right, only, one, last, opposite, left”+ N // the wrong train
  1. Of the whole class // The tiger is in danger = all the tigers.
  1. + N denoting social classes // the public, the workers
  2. + people of some school or movement in… // The impressionists
  3. + subst. adj. in coll. And abstr. Meaning // the literate = ”all who are”
  4. In adv. Modifiers of place // She was in the garden
  5. With unique objects: the world, the universe, the horizon, the equator, the planet.
  6. Unique objects similar to proper N., originating from common N.: The Tower, the Hermitage.
1. Count N in Pl. 2. Non-C N in general sense 3. Proper N 4. “a” in Sing. → no article in Pl. // She is a student-They are students. 5. Non count abstract and material N used in general meaning // He has such huge pride. Time will show who is right. Information means much. 6. Count and non count N with general meaning.// an egg-egg, a beauty-beauty. 7. A sift in meaning of originally count N. // to teach violin (as a subject), to go to school (adv. Modifier) 8. Attr. (restricts the meaning of the N.) + abstract non count N. // English history, folk music, nasty weather, valuable advice. 9. Attr. + non count N. // Venetian glass, beautiful silk, stained glass 10. Before 2 closely connected notions // mother and daughter, we are no longer boy and boy 11. NEXT, LAST + N. when counting from the moment of speaking // last time, next time. 12. Numeral is a part of a proper name// fifth avenue  
  1. In newspaper headlines, announcements.
  2. In telegrams
  3. In stage directions // At rise of curtain…
  4. In reference entries or notes // See table…on following page
  5. + numeral as a part of a proper name // Fifth Avenue
  6. Pl. proper nouns= mere plurality // There are a lot of Wilsons there.
  7. after the verbs “ to appoint, to elect/ to make” // He was elected director of the factory.
Set expressions At a glance, in a whisper, at a depth, many a time, many a man, to lay a criminal information against. By the dozen, by the hour, in (during) the night, in the plural, in the future, by the by, to take smb. by the arm, to kiss smb. by the cheek (on the forehead), to be wounded in the arm, to keep the house, to play the piano In future=from this time on To keep house = to do housework, to keep time, at dinner, at first sight (notice), at war, by accident (mistake, sight), from beginning to end, from east to west, from side to side, to catch (lose) sight of, to give offence (permission), to give way to, to be at (to leave, to take to) hospital, to be at (to go to) sea, to go (…) to church, to be (…) at prison, to go (…) to town, to set fire to
NB.1. Proper nouns   1. If some aspect or phase of the object is meant; if the word is used figuratively // The sun shone in an unclouded sky. To do a world of good. I was guided by a full moon. 2. The person mentioned belongs to the family bearing the same name // She had been a Miss Dobson. 3. When nothing is known about the person mentioned but the name // She’s a Miss Ponder 4. Proper N. → common N. // Have a cigar. It’s a real Havana. 5. When some phase, aspect or state is meant if it refers to a person or a geogr. Place // She dreamt of a South Africa reconstructed with hatred.   1. Astronomical names // The Great Bear, The Milky Way. 2. Geographical names:
  • The Arctic, the North Pole;
  • Rivers, seas, oceans, canals, gulfs, plural lakes // The Persian Gulf;
  • Chains of mountains;
  • Some countries, areas, provinces;
  • Deserts // The Sahara;
  • Parts of towns // The Bronx ( in NY);
  • The de facto capital of the Netherlands-The Hague;
3. Names of public institutions (museums, theatres, hotels, restaurants, schools, colleges, Un-s → when the phrase begins with”school”), unique buildings and monuments // the Grand Hotel, The university of Florida. 4. Names of vessels // The Titanic. 5. Names of most newspapers (in E-speaking countries). 6. Ordinal numbers + N. 7. Wars (except world wars) // The Crimean War. 8. Historical documents //The Constitution. 9. Decades // the 1990. 10. Ethnic groups // The Indians. 11. Group of objects bearing the same name and forming one whole // The Canaries, The Browns. 12. Proper N.-substantivized adj. //The Pacific, The Argentine (republic)-Argentina. 13. Nicknames // The Scout.
1. Geographical names:
  • Mountain // Mount McKinley;
  • Planets, constellations // Venus;
  • Singular lakes // Lake Erie;
  • Countries preceded by “NEW” or an adj. (a direction) // New Zealand, North Korea;
  • Countries with one word;
  • Continents //South America, Europe;
  • States.
2. Single years. 3. Sports. 4. Abstract nouns // freedom. 5. General matters of subject matter // sociology. 6. Holidays //Christmas. 7. Schools, colleges, universities: Proper N. + … // Florida University. 8. Nouns + cardinal numerals // World War One;
NB. 2. Nouns denoting time and meals 1. It was a wonderful day. That was a restless night. 1. The evening was calm. The winter is severe this year. It is the latest part of the day. Tell me the four seasons of the year.
  1. With reference to parts of the day, year, light-darkness.
// Evening came. Night fell. Twilight is the faint light before sunset and after sunrise.
  When names of meals denote simply an occasion or process of taking food.
  When a formal meal is meant or when the notion referred to is a specified or classified.
  • The dinner you cooked was beyond all expectations.
  • It was a marvellous supper.
In phrases and patterns:
  • To have (take, serve, cook) dinner…
  • To go (be) at dinner…
// What shall we have for lunch?
NB. 3.
  • “the others” (specific, all the remaining) ↔ “The other + S.N” (the last of) ↔ “ the other + Pl.N” (remaining).
  • “the number of + Pl.N” + Sing. Verb ↔ “a number of + PL. N” + Pl. Verb.
  • Subject + predicate + THE + comparative + OF THE TWO + (noun). // He is the smarter of the two boys.
  • OF THE TWO + (noun) + subject + predicate + THE + comparative // Of the two books, this one is the most interesting.


  1. A dinner (formal or specific) - the dinner (formal or specific) – dinner (in patterns).
  2. A horse (+ a detailed description) - the horse (more forceful expression of the idea of the whole class).
  3. A language- the language- language.
  4. A woman (a representative of the class)- the woman (specific)- woman (the class as a whole, the idea of state, position).
  5. The history (as a subject) - history (originally count N.= a shift in its meaning).
  6. The English language (count)- English history (non-count).
  7. In the darkness (count) - in darkness (non-count, the state).
  8. A play by… (isn’t known) - the play by…(is known).
  9. The son of a doctor (=his farther is a doctor) - the son of the doctor (a definite person).
  10. A way was long (more frequently used)- the way was long.
  11. The Rocky Mountains- Mount McKinley .
  12. The 1990s- 1990
  13. A bed (This is a bed)- the bed – bed (to be in bed=to be ill).
  14. The school (the place)- school (to learn there).
  15. A love (a kind, a type)- the love- love (non-count abstract).
  16. A silence- the silence- silence.
  17. The Sun- Venus.
  18. The University of Florida- Stetson University
  19. The First World War- World War One.
  20. A war- the Crimean war.
  21. The USA- France.
  22. A second attempt- the second girl- Second Avenue (street)


Date: 2015-01-11; view: 669

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