Articles

Articles

English has two articles: the indefinite article (a or an) and the definite article (the)
Example (1): He is a mechanical engineer.
’a’ (indefinite article used before consonants)
Example (2): She is an electrical engineer.
’an’ (indefinite article used before vowels)
Example (3): What about the danger?
‘the’ (definite article)
When talking about a general situation, we sometimes leave out the article
Example (4): What do you mean by danger?
no article

Chart about articles

Definite (the) and non-definite articles (a/an) go with nouns.
SINGULAR PLURAL
with no article with ’a’ or ’an’ with ’the’ with no article with ’the’
COUNT
NOUNS
wire a wire the wire wires the wires
a graph the graph graphs the graphs
NON-COUNT
NOUNS
news the news
bellows the bellows

Notes

Examples (1) and (2) use ‘a/an’ with singular count nouns (‘a mechanical engineer or an electrical engineer’).

Example (3) uses ‘the’ with a singular non-count noun to point out a specific danger. (‘What about the danger?’) Note: ‘danger’ can be a count or a non-count noun.

Example (4) uses no article with a singular non-count noun; the question seeks to go from the general to the specific. (‘What do you mean by danger?’)