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.).
Bukowski wrote for a publication in San Francisco.
They work at a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization in New England.
'An' is an indefinite article used with nouns or adjectives beginning with a vowel (a,e, i, o, u).
An elite ruling class working to dampen civic engagement ais responsible for the apathy.
Citizens of the world united to form an organizing effort.
'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".
He gives to a charity in Pennsylvania.
An environmental canvasser is required to gather a certain amount of donations in order to reach quota.
The questionnaire was aimed at an educated demographic.
The - Usage
Use definite articles with specific objects that are recognizeed by both the speaker and the audience.
The NGO in Iraq worked on securing clean drinking water despite the UN sanctions.
The report on racism documented that profiling was prevalent.
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.
This regulatory agency encourages health.
Our code of ethics forbids the wasting of beer.
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.