Articles (a, an, the, and the "zero article") tend to drive non-native English speakers nuts. Plus! Ask any native English speaker to tell you article rules; we bet four out of five will not be able to do so.
We believe that's because, while there are definitely rules for using articles, there are many exceptions to those rules.
"Go get a bat!" differs from "Go get the bat!" Likewise, "Go get bats!" is not the same as "Go get the bats!" Argh!
We learn article usage by listening—by immersion—and we recommend that you listen carefully to your favorite podcasts in English to help.
Article Usage Links
- Handout (printable): "Articles," University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Writing Center
- Handout with exercises (printable): "Editing for Articles," Douglas College
- Short video (2:47): "Introduction to Articles," Khan Academy
- Exercises: "Meet the Article," Khan Academy
- Exercises: "Choosing between Definite and Indefinite Articles," Khan Academy
The following index makes searching for a specific topic easier and links to the appropriate place in the sequenced material. We think we have most of them, but please email us at email@example.com if we are missing something!