Speak About:



Past to Present


Abilities - Responsibilities

Asking Questions

Choosing the Right Phrase

Combining Verbs

Explaining Ideas

Describing Your World

Complex Ideas

Relating Ideas, People, Objects

Speaking about Objects

Wondering about Situations

Referring to Objects

Articles - Determiners

'A' is an indefinite article used with nouns or adjectives beginning with a consonant (b, d, z, v, t, etc.).

If you use a credit card, they'll check your available balance.

Tom cashed a certified check.


'An' is an indefinite article used with nouns or adjectives beginning with a vowel (a,e, i, o, u).

She was charged an account fee because of her debtor history.

You can come at your convenience and we will create an expense account for you


'The' is a definite article used with nouns or adjectives beginning with vowels or consonants.

The car over there is fast.
The teacher is very good, isn't he?

A, An - Usage

Use "a or an" when you introduce an object to a discussion. Remember that your speakers are not familiar with which object you are speaking about. However, the next time you repeat that object use "the".

I'll have to have an itemized statement on that before I submit it for you.

Tom cashed a certified check.

According to an executive, market capitalization was not a priority.

The - Usage

Use definite articles with specific objects that are recognizeed by both the speaker and the audience.

The blocked account can only be accessed by bank personnel.

The company shares are not transferable without the consent of parties involved.

Definite articles are not used with countries, states, counties or provinces, lakes and mountains except when the country is a collection of states such as "The United States".

He lives in Washington near Mount Rainier.
They live in northern British Columbia.

Definite articles are used with specific bodies of water, oceans and seas.

My country borders on the Pacific Ocean.

Articles are not used when speaking about things in general. When speaking in general, use the plural form for count nouns, and the singular with non count nouns.

Majority interest is an important consideration.

Start-up costs tend to be underestimated.

Articles are not used when speaking about meals, places, or transport.

He has breakfast at home.
I go to university.
He comes to work by taxi.