Tuesday, 3 November 2015

IBPS English Language Notes (Topic : Use of Articles)

Articles are of TWO types. They are
    1. Indefinite article  ----      A / An
    2. Definite article   ----      The
What's the difference?
If you want to say about ANY item, you should use the articles A / An. If you want to say about a SPECIFIC item, you should use the article THE.
Confused? Let’s see an example. Assume that you've selected for a Bank Exam. You have a stupid friend like me. So obviously She will ask you a party.
Suppose if She says
  • Let’s go to a Restaurant, that means She doesn't have any specific restaurant in Her mind. So you can give her party in ANY cheap restaurant.  But,
  • If she says Lets go to THE restaurant, that means She has some SPECIFICATIONS. I mean she have a specific restaurant in her mind. So you cant escape ;)
Well, this is the basic difference between A/An and The. There are so many differences and usages of these articles. We shall discuss them later.

OK, lets discuss about the Indefinite articles first.

Indefinite Articles :
A : The indefinite article 'a' is used before singular countable nouns that start with a Consonant sound.

An : The indefinite article 'an" is used before singular countable nouns that start with a Vowel sound. 
Wow, Nice definitions. No?

Have a look at some examples,

A :
  • A Bat
  • A Cat
  • A Rat
  • A Jug
An :
  • An Apple
  • An Egg
  • AN Ink-Bottle
  • An Orange
  • An Umbrella
Now tell me, what should I use before the words European, One-Eyed Beggar, University, Useful Website?
Can I say, meritmock.com is an Useful site to know about Banking Exams? 

why ?
Please Re-Read the definitions. Here we are talking about Vowel and Consonant SOUNDS. Not the Letters. People often confuse with this. They blindly put A before a word, if it starts with a Vowel letter (A, E, I, O, U) and put An before the word which starts with the consonant letter. 
Consider the SOUND, not the LETTER.
Confusing?  Lets see a short cut for this. 
  • If a word starts with a SWAR (Any of the Indian Language) sound, then we should use An before it.
  • If a word starts with a Vyanjan (An of the Indian Language) sound, then we should use A before it.
Have a look at this picture,

so, now see these examples,
A :
  • A European
  • A One-Eyed beggar
  • A University
  • A Useful Website
  • An hour
  • An Honest Man
  • An honorable person
That's it.
Now lets see some more TRICKY examples in English.
Suppose , if you want to say about the Member of Parliament, you can say a Member of Parliament, But if you use shorter form as M.P, Then you should say, He is an M.P
Lets see another example, He is an NRI but He is a Non Resident Indian

Articles - The

The Usage of the "THE"   :

  • Before superlative forms
    • Ex :
      • The Tallest
      • The Best
      • The most beautiful
  • Before double comparatives
    • Ex:
      •  The higher you go, the colder you gets
      •  The harder you work, the better rank you get in Bank Exams
      • The more you earn, the more you want
  • When the comparison is between the two and either of the subjects is Highlighted
    • Ex:
      • Sachin is the greater of the two cricketers
      • Of the two cricketers sachin is the greater
      • Note :
        •  Sachin is the greater than  lara 
          • Now whats the difference between the first statement and the third? why the first one is correct and third one is wrong? because in the 3rd statement, we have mentioned the Person's name. But in the first statement we didnt.
  • Before positive form in apposition 
    • EX:
      • Alexander, the great
      • Manmohan Singh, the prime minister etc
  • Before musical instruments
    • The Guitar
    • The Tabla
    • The voilin etc
  • Before a Proper noun when used as a Common noun
    • Nelson mandela is The Gandhi of South Africa
    • Kalidasa is The Shakespeare of India 
  • Before some adjectives to make them nouns
    • Ex:
      • The Blind
      • The Dead
      • The Rich
      • The Poor
      • Usage :
        • The doctor restored sight to the blind (Here there is no need to mention "The Blind Person" because, the term Blind itself represents the Blind person, so its the adjective which is used as the noun.)
        • The rich should not mock at the poor
        •  Jesus rose from the Dead
        •  Jesus rose from Dead
  • Before some Languages, to make them PEOPLE.
    •  English ruled over India for many Years
    • The English Ruled over India for Many Years
    •  French are good at heart
    • The French are good at heart
  • When a noun's quality is STRESSED
    •  We cannot remove warrior in him
    • We cannot remove the warrior in him
    • Mother in her aroused when she saw a Crying Baby
    • The mother in her aroused when she saw a Crying Baby
  • Before Ordinal numbers
    • The First
    • The Third
    • The Tenth, etc
    • Ex:
      • The first and the second posts of this blog
        • Note : Little clarification for those people who have no idea about Ordinal numbers
          • One, Two, Three, Four  →  Cardinal Numbers
          • First, Second, Third  →  Ordinal Numbers
  • Before the names of Oceans, Seas, Rivers, Canals, Deserts, Groups of Mountains and Groups of Islands
    •  Note :  Dont use "The" for single mountain or single Island (Thats the reason why we've underlined these two statements)
    • Ex :
      • The Pacific
      • The Red Sea
      • The Sahara
      • The Himalayas 
      • Usage :
        •  Kolkata is on the banks of the Hoogli 
        • Kolkata is on the banks of the River Hoogli
        • Kolkata is on the banks of river Hoogli
        • Kolkata is on the banks of the Hoogli river
          • Dont be confued, please read the above sentences properly and understand them
  • Before Holy Books
      • The Ramayana
      • The Quran
      • The Bible 
        • Usage:
          • My father reads the Bible everyday
  • Before the names of the Things, which are unique in nature
    • The Sun
    • The moon
    • The Sky 
    • The ________ (You can add your name here :P kidding)
  • Before the names of Planets and 
    •  The Mars
    • The Earth
      • Note :  Little clarification for those people who confuses between the words Planet and Satellites
        • Planets rotates around the Sun
        • Satellites rotates around Planets 
  • In opposition, when name precedes the position (Important)
    • Manmohan singh, the prime minister is on a two day tour to srilanka
    • In correction of sentences, they've given this model for a number of times. The above sentence means, Manmohan singh, who is the prime minister is on a two day tour to srilanka.
    • Some time they will give like this
      • The X, the Y is on a two day tour to srilanka
        • Whats wrong with this sentence? You can remove THE at the beginning or, just put ARE in the place of IS, so that the sentence tells about TWO different persons one is X and the second one is Y
  • Before the names of News Papers
    •  The Indian Express
    • The Hindu etc
  • Before the names of some countries
    •  The U.S.A
    • The UAE
    • The Netherlands
    • The Congo etc

Omission of Articles

Dear MM Aspirants you have learnt where should we use A , An and where should we use THE. Now we shall learn where shouldn't we use these articles. Following are the conditions where we shouldn't use any article.

  • Before the common nouns man, woman, god, heaven, hell, when used in general sence
    • Man is mortal but God is immortal
    • Man proposes but god disposes
    • Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die
    • Note : But when particularized 'the' definite article is used.
      • The man who is standing at the door is my uncle
    • When it means one, the indefinite article is used.
      • There is a man at the door
  • Before abstract nouns, when generalized 
    • Honesty is the best policy
    • Beauty should lie in one's heart
    • Bravery is the sign of man
    • Note : But when these are particularized, THE is used
      • The honesty the auto-driver showed was finally rewarded
  • Before material nouns when Generalized
    • Water is essential for all
    • Sugar is sweet
    • Wood is used for making furniture
    • Gold is a precious metal
    • But when particularized, THE definite article is used
      • The water in this pond is pure
      • The gold used for making this chain was 22 carat
  • Before places like Church, Temple, Mosque, School, College, University, Hostel, Library, Class, Hospital, Jail (Prison) etc.
When they are visited for their primary purpose
    •   He was an atheist, but now a days he is going to the church
    •  He was an atheist, but now a days he is going to church
    •    You should go to the school regularly in-order to get good marks
    •   You should go to school regularly in-order to get good marks
    •  I went to the church to meet my friend (here i dint go for the primary purpose(prayer))
    •   The man was put in jail for killing a woman
    •   The injured were taken to hospital
    •    The injured were taken to the hospital
  • But when these places are visited for their secondary purpose the definite article should be used.
    • He went to the temple to meet the priest
    • My father came to the school to talk to my class teacher
    • I went to the hospital to see and console a patient
  • But when it means one, the indefinite article is used
    • There is a school at the end of the street
  • Before Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner etc, when used in general sense
    • we usually take lunch at 1
    • Breakfast is served between 7 and 9
  • But when these are particularized, by an adjective, the indefinite article is used.
    • We had a delicious lunch yesterday (here the lunch is particularized, so we used an indefinite article "a")
    • We are going to have a healthy breakfast
  • Before plural nouns, when generalized
    • Tigers are ferocious animals
    • Cows are domestic animals 
    • Children like chocolates
    • Note : Here if we represent singular instead of plural, then we should use articles
      • The tiger is a ferocious animal
      • A tiger is a ferocious animal
      • Tigers are ferocious animals
  • In expressions like Go to bed, Take heart, Lose heart, Send word, Set fire
    • Please switch off all the lights before going to bed (not going to the bed)
    • Dont lose heart when you are on the verge of danger (not lose the heart)
    • The house was set on fire (not on the fire)
Also read these articles :-

This Article Shared by Shivani Jha

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