In this lesson, learn the 7 rules for using articles in English correctly. Also see - MOST COMMON MISTAKES IN ENGLISH & HOW TO AVOID THEM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dax90QyXgI&list=PLmwr9polMHwsR35rD9spEhjFUFa7QblF9
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Hello and welcome. In this
lesson, I will teach you the
seven rules that you need to
know for using articles in
English correctly. Articles are
the words ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’.
There is a final quiz at the
end of the lesson for you to
test your understanding.
OK, the first rule is about
where to use ‘a’ and where to
use ‘an’. So rule number one is
use ‘a’ before a consonant
sound, and ‘an’ before a vowel
So in all of these words – you
see that they start with a
consonant sound. Cat starts
with /k/, dog
starts with /d/, boy with /b/,
girl with /g/, house with /h/
and tree with /t/.
So we say ‘a cat’, ‘a dog’, ‘a
boy’, ‘a girl’, ‘a house’, ‘a
tree’ etc. Notice that in
natural speech, we don’t say
‘a’, we say ‘uh’ – like ‘a
In this next set of words, you
see that, they all start with a
vowel sound – apple starts with
/ae/, engineer starts with /e/,
ice-cream with /ai/, old with
/o/, umbrella with /uh/.
So we say ‘an apple’, ‘an
engineer’, ‘an ice-cream cone’,
‘an old womman’, ‘an umbrella’
and so on. In speech, we don’t
say ‘an’, we say /ən/.
Let’s do a small exercise. You
see ten items on the screen.
For each one, I want you to say
if you would use ‘a’ or ‘an’
before it. Stop the video,
think about it, then play the
video again and check.
OK here are the answers. Did
you get them all right? I want
to focus on items number seven
to ten because these are a
little tricky. Number seven is
‘a university’ because even
though ‘university’ starts with
the letter ‘u’ the first sound
of the word is not a vowel
sound. We don’t say
/ooniversity/. We say /yoo-nə-
vər-si-ty/ so that first sound
is a /y/ sound, which a
consonant sound, so we say ‘a
Number eight is similar. The
word ‘European’ starts with a
/y/ sound, so ‘a European
In number nine, the spelling
has an ‘h’ at the start but
that ‘h’ is silent. We don’t
say /hau-ər/, we say /au-ər/.
The first sound is an /au/
sound which is a vowel sound,
so this is ‘an hour’. In the
same way, in number ten, we say
MA. ‘M’ starts with an /e/
sound which is again a vowel
sound, so ‘an MA in English’.
OK let’s move on to rule number
two: Use ‘a’ and ‘an’ ONLY with
singular, countable nouns.
We say that a noun is countable
if we can count it – one, two,
three, four etc.
All of these words on the
screen are countable. We can
say one elephant, three cars,
ten teachers, five hundred
onions and so on. Now if you
talk about one person or thing,
like one elephant or one
car, then that’s called a
singular noun and if you say
ten teachers or five hundred
onions, those are called plural
Uncountable nouns cannot be
counted in this way. Nouns like
water, sugar, milk, love,
anger, knowledge are some
examples. If you think about
it, you cannot say “I drank
four waters” or “I want eight
milks”. To a person, you can
say “I love you” but you can’t
say “I have five loves for you”
– that doesn’t make any sense.
So these are all uncountable.
Alright, so the rule is - you
can only use ‘a’ and ‘an’ if
you’re talking about one person
or one thing.
Let’s do another quick
exercise. Here are ten items
again. This time, you see ‘a’
or ‘an’ before the nouns, but
some of these are wrong. They
should NOT have ‘a’ or ‘an’
before them. Stop the video,
identify the mistakes, then
play the video again and check.
OK, here are the answers.
Number three is wrong because
‘shirts’ is a plural and you
cannot use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before a
plural noun. Number five is
wrong because ‘happiness’ is
uncountable, so again, ‘a’ or
‘an’ cannot be used there. The
same goes for number six –
water is uncountable. Number
nine is wrong because ‘doctors’
is a plural – you can say ‘a
doctor’ but not ‘a doctors’.
And finally, in number ten,
advice is an uncountable noun –
so you cannot ask for ‘an
Now a quick note here: the
article ‘the’ can be used with
all kinds of nouns – singular
or plural countable nouns, and
OK, so let’s now talk about how
to choose between ‘a’ or ‘an’
Here’s rule number three: Use
‘a’ or ‘an’ to talk about a
person or thing unknown to your
listener. And use ‘the’ to talk
about a person or thing known
to your listener.
For example, “My sister has two
computers: a PC and a laptop.
The PC is quite old but the
laptop is brand new.” I say ‘a
PC’ and ‘a laptop’ because
that’s the first time I’m
mentioning the two computers.
That is, until this point, they
are unknown to you, the
Hey there, I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Let me know if you have any questions. Also check out:
➜ 1 Simple Trick to *Become FLUENT* in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0qT4cK-wtk&list=PLmwr9polMHwsI6vWZkm3W_VE7cWtYVjix
➜ *50* Words You are *Pronouncing WRONG:* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdtUjWb0O9w&list=PLmwr9polMHwtOrZVwGuiN8xLup5elPE6f
➜ *Most Common MISTAKES* in English & How to Avoid Them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dax90QyXgI&list=PLmwr9polMHwsR35rD9spEhjFUFa7QblF9
➜ *POWER Writing* - Write ANYTHING in English Easily (Essays, Emails, Letters Etc.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT_D68RJ5T8&list=PLmwr9polMHwtPulG3q4SrSNIZzlJl2gXf
➜ *100 English Sentences* You Can Use in Conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dRuy1VLCiQ&list=PLmwr9polMHwsI6vWZkm3W_VE7cWtYVjix
➜ Learn *TELEPHONE English* - 100 Sentences You Can Use on the Phone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkppeSjRj0E&list=PLmwr9polMHwsI6vWZkm3W_VE7cWtYVjix
➜ Speak English FLUENTLY like a *NATIVE SPEAKER* with *just 10 words:* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KU2eobDMqs&list=PLmwr9polMHwsI6vWZkm3W_VE7cWtYVjix
➜ All *GRAMMAR* lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwsR35rD9spEhjFUFa7QblF9
➜ All *MODAL VERBS* Lessons (Could, Would, Should, May, Might, Must etc.): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwvGTssgSU9KWEm2T4WiWaTj
➜ All *PARTS OF SPEECH* lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwsQmAjoAxtFvwk_PaqQeS68
➜ All *ARTICLES* (a, an, the) lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwsbkqz6kU5e6MgpvaYrpKfX
➜ All *PRONUNCIATION* lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwtOrZVwGuiN8xLup5elPE6f
➜ All *TENSES* lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwsRNZW607CtVZhg_SzsbiJw
Hello there. Could you please help me how to improve my English skills. I really wanted to learn how to speak fluently in English . I’ve been in US for 10 years but until now I can say that I’m not that good to express myself in English very well . I really really need your help.
Amazing video. Really. But I have one question sir why not 'I don't enjoy watching a horror movie' in place of horror movies because I will be talking about every single horror movie. And I think movie is countable noun and horror functions as an adjectival or attributive noun here. Plz reply
"Idea" is a count noun.
You can say: 'I have two ideas', 'those ideas are genius', and 'that person has strange ideas'.
I'd like to add, "Idea" is an abstract noun.
It's an abstract noun because you can't physically see or touch it.
Abstract nouns aren't exempt from pluralisation.
Sir why we can't use articles before money and family sir because money can be counted and family also can be counted so it means that is countable nouns right???and these two words are not pluras also so this is my dought please answer sir
Sir thank u for your lessons. Pls explain the answers for 1 st and 4th questions in the last quiz. For 1st question i got 2nd and 3rd wrong and for 4th i got last one wrong. I am struggling with no article part
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