Archive for the ‘Write A Note On Articles With Example’ Category

Many non-native speakers have problems with articles, in many languages they don’t even exist. But in English articles are very important, sometimes they might completely change the meaning of sentences. Today we’re going to look at several cases where articles make a huge difference.
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The first pilot to my Essay Tips series! I share my method for reading and understanding a journal article or paper quickly and efficiently including how to take good, concise notes and remember useful citations.

If your method differs from mine or you think you can give me some pointers then let me know in the comments!

This is the first in a series of videos I’m hoping to produce while undertaking my PhD at the University of Exeter on tips for students at university or college whether undergraduate, postgraduate or otherwise.

Note: The programme to the left (which I highlight in) is Mendeley. Apologies for forgetting to state this in the video!!

If you’ve enjoyed this video then please do check out the rest of my channel. I generally put out new videos every Tuesday and Friday discussing theatre and playwriting from the perspective of an aspirant and (some might say) emerging playwright, theatre maker and academic.

My tagging system was borrowed from this article on The Thesis Whisperer:

Further Reading

The Academic Skills Handbook by Diana Hopkins and Tom Reid

The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell

[The above are affiliate links. I receive a small kickback from anything you buy which, in turn, helps to support the channel.]
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In this lesson, learn the 7 rules for using articles in English correctly. Also see – MOST COMMON MISTAKES IN ENGLISH & HOW TO AVOID THEM:

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Hello and welcome. In this
lesson, I will teach you the
seven rules that you need to
know for using articles in
English correctly. Articles are
the words ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’.
There is a final quiz at the
end of the lesson for you to
test your understanding.
OK, the first rule is about
where to use ‘a’ and where to
use ‘an’. So rule number one is
use ‘a’ before a consonant
sound, and ‘an’ before a vowel
So in all of these words – you
see that they start with a
consonant sound. Cat starts
with /k/, dog
starts with /d/, boy with /b/,
girl with /g/, house with /h/
and tree with /t/.
So we say ‘a cat’, ‘a dog’, ‘a
boy’, ‘a girl’, ‘a house’, ‘a
tree’ etc. Notice that in
natural speech, we don’t say
‘a’, we say ‘uh’ – like ‘a
In this next set of words, you
see that, they all start with a
vowel sound – apple starts with
/ae/, engineer starts with /e/,
ice-cream with /ai/, old with
/o/, umbrella with /uh/.
So we say ‘an apple’, ‘an
engineer’, ‘an ice-cream cone’,
‘an old womman’, ‘an umbrella’
and so on. In speech, we don’t
say ‘an’, we say /ən/.
Let’s do a small exercise. You
see ten items on the screen.
For each one, I want you to say
if you would use ‘a’ or ‘an’
before it. Stop the video,
think about it, then play the
video again and check.
OK here are the answers. Did
you get them all right? I want
to focus on items number seven
to ten because these are a
little tricky. Number seven is
‘a university’ because even
though ‘university’ starts with
the letter ‘u’ the first sound
of the word is not a vowel
sound. We don’t say
/ooniversity/. We say /yoo-nə-
vər-si-ty/ so that first sound
is a /y/ sound, which a
consonant sound, so we say ‘a
Number eight is similar. The
word ‘European’ starts with a
/y/ sound, so ‘a European
In number nine, the spelling
has an ‘h’ at the start but
that ‘h’ is silent. We don’t
say /hau-ər/, we say /au-ər/.
The first sound is an /au/
sound which is a vowel sound,
so this is ‘an hour’. In the
same way, in number ten, we say
MA. ‘M’ starts with an /e/
sound which is again a vowel
sound, so ‘an MA in English’.
OK let’s move on to rule number
two: Use ‘a’ and ‘an’ ONLY with
singular, countable nouns.
We say that a noun is countable
if we can count it – one, two,
three, four etc.
All of these words on the
screen are countable. We can
say one elephant, three cars,
ten teachers, five hundred
onions and so on. Now if you
talk about one person or thing,
like one elephant or one
car, then that’s called a
singular noun and if you say
ten teachers or five hundred
onions, those are called plural
Uncountable nouns cannot be
counted in this way. Nouns like
water, sugar, milk, love,
anger, knowledge are some
examples. If you think about
it, you cannot say “I drank
four waters” or “I want eight
milks”. To a person, you can
say “I love you” but you can’t
say “I have five loves for you”
– that doesn’t make any sense.
So these are all uncountable.
Alright, so the rule is – you
can only use ‘a’ and ‘an’ if
you’re talking about one person
or one thing.
Let’s do another quick
exercise. Here are ten items
again. This time, you see ‘a’
or ‘an’ before the nouns, but
some of these are wrong. They
should NOT have ‘a’ or ‘an’
before them. Stop the video,
identify the mistakes, then
play the video again and check.
OK, here are the answers.
Number three is wrong because
‘shirts’ is a plural and you
cannot use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before a
plural noun. Number five is
wrong because ‘happiness’ is
uncountable, so again, ‘a’ or
‘an’ cannot be used there. The
same goes for number six –
water is uncountable. Number
nine is wrong because ‘doctors’
is a plural – you can say ‘a
doctor’ but not ‘a doctors’.
And finally, in number ten,
advice is an uncountable noun –
so you cannot ask for ‘an
Now a quick note here: the
article ‘the’ can be used with
all kinds of nouns – singular
or plural countable nouns, and
uncountable nouns.
OK, so let’s now talk about how
to choose between ‘a’ or ‘an’
and ‘the’.
Here’s rule number three: Use
‘a’ or ‘an’ to talk about a
person or thing unknown to your
listener. And use ‘the’ to talk
about a person or thing known
to your listener.
For example, “My sister has two
computers: a PC and a laptop.
The PC is quite old but the
laptop is brand new.” I say ‘a
PC’ and ‘a laptop’ because
that’s the first time I’m
mentioning the two computers.
That is, until this point, they
are unknown to you, the