Those little words: a, an, the

Many Indian speakers find it difficult to use the correct article in a phrase. This is because in languages such as Hindi, there are no articles!

This post will look at the use of articles: a, an, the. In the next post, we will look at the  zero article (my favourite).

We use the definite article for shared knowledge between two speakers. For example: The cab has come. And we use the indefinite articles when there is no shared knowledge. For example: A cab has come. (We are not sure who has ordered the cab.)

Often, Indian speakers tend to drop or add the definite article (the) in certain phrases. Here are a few examples:

  1. across globe – should be: across the globe
  2. think out of box – should be: think out of the box
  3. out of the town – should be: out of town
  4. since beginning – should be: since the beginning
  5. in next few years – should be: in the next few years

I wish I could give you a rule to follow here, but I cannot think of one. Be aware of the use the definite article and look critically at the common phrases you use. Check to make sure that they are correct. Over time, it will come naturally to you.

All the best!





Author: amalfabian

I am an English language corporate trainer based in India. Am attracted to printed matter and I like to scribble sometimes.

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