The articles “a,” “an,” and “the”) are constantly used in both everyday speaking and writing and in academic writing. However, knowing which articles to use in different contexts in academic writing can be difficult. This video will explore the different usages of articles as they might appear in a research paper.
This video includes:
✔ Basic rules about using definite and indefinite articles
✔ Example sentences for correct article usage
✔ A quiz to check your ability to use articles in sample sentences
1. Two basic rules for using indefinite articles
2. Three basic rules for using definite articles
3. A breakdown of countable and uncountable nouns
4. Sample sentences showing correct usage of these articles
5. An article practice quiz
Who should watch this video:
★Anyone engaged in academic writing (university or research writing)
★Those who are unsure of their ability to use articles correctly
For more useful writing tips, check out these posts on our “Resources” page:
“How to Correctly Use Articles (a, an, the) in Your Writing”: https://wordvice.com/how-to-correctly-use-articles-a-an-the-in-your-writing/
“100+ Strong Verbs That Will Make Your Research Writing Amazing”: https://wordvice.com/recommended-verbs-for-research-writing/
Follow these links for more helpful tips available in several languages:
ENGLISH SITE: https://www.wordvice.com
An abstract noun is a word that means a general concept or idea, like “life” or “friendship”. We can use “the” with common nouns, as in “the sky is blue”. But can we use “the” with abstract nouns? For example, would you say “happiness is important” or “the happiness is important”? If you are not sure, watch this lesson to learn when to use “the” with general and abstract nouns. Don’t forget to take the quiz afterwards to test your understanding!
Hi. I’m Rebecca from engVid. Many English learners have trouble deciding when to use “the” or no “the”, so I understand that problem, I know it can be a little bit confusing, but I believe that by the end of this lesson, you’re going to find it much easier. Okay?
So let’s start with a little quiz first to see where you stand regarding that word “the”. So, let’s look at this first example. Should you say: “Life is beautiful.” or “The life is beautiful.”? Okay. Think about it. Decide. Another one: “Friendship is precious.” or “The friendship is precious.”? Which one is right? Think for yourself. We’ll do one more, and then I’ll give you the answers. “Happiness is important.” or “The happiness is important.”? Which one is correct? Do you know? How do you know?
How do you decide which one is right? I’ll tell you. When we’re talking about something which is a general concept or idea, then we do not use “the”. Okay? For example, let’s take the first one. “Life is beautiful.” Now, life is a general concept, so we do not need “the”. So, this is the correct answer. All right? Not this. “Life is beautiful.” Because life is a general idea, a general concept. Okay? We’re not talking about anything specific. If we say: “The life of wise people is beautiful.” that is something specific, and then we would be correct to say: “The life”. Okay? But if we’re just talking in general, then no “the”.
Let’s look at the next example. “Friendship is precious.” Again, friendship is a general idea or a general concept, so this is correct. Okay? In this example, this one was wrong. But if I said, for example: “The friendship between those two children is precious.” then that would be fine, because now I’m specifying which friendship. Right? The friendship between those two children, so then it becomes specific, and then we would use “the”. But in this example, this is correct. Okay? Just like this was, and this is wrong, because this is a general idea. Okay?
Next one: “Happiness is important.” By now you know, again, happiness is a general idea, a general concept, so this is correct. In this example, it would be wrong to say: “The happiness”, because: The happiness of what? So, if we say: “The happiness of my family is important.” that’s fine. That’s very good. That would be a perfect sentence. But in this case, we cannot say: “The happiness is important.” because we didn’t specify which happiness. Okay? So, in this case, that’s wrong, and this is correct. Okay?
Now, the same principle applies to these. See if you can figure it out. Okay? “I want to make money.” or “I want to make the money.”? Which one do you think is right? Are we speaking in general, or are we speaking specifically? Well, we are speaking in general right now, so this is correct, because we’re just talking about money; we didn’t say which money. I want to make money. Right? General idea. If I said, for example: “I want to make the money I need to pay my rent.” that’s specific, so then I could say: “the money”, because I’m explaining after that which money. Okay? But in this example, no.
Next one: “She wants to lose weight.” or “She wants to lose the weight.”? Is it general or is it specific? What do you think? It’s still general. Good. By now you’re getting really smart. “She wants to lose weight.” is a general term. Right? We’re just talking about weight in general; not any specific weight. But if I say: “She wants to lose the weight she put on during the holidays.” that’s specific, and then I need “the”. Okay? But not in this example.
So, last one here: “He needs to earn respect.” or do we say: “He needs to earn the respect.”? Is it general or is it specific? By now you know, you’ll really know. It’s general. Very good. Okay? Because we didn’t talk about any specific respect; we’re talking about respect in general. So: “He needs to earn respect.” But if this was being used, it would be something like: “He needs to earn the respect of his peers.” Peers are people your age. Okay? Or: “He needs to earn the respect of his employees.” for example, or “of his parents”. Then it becomes specific. Which respect? The respect of his parents, the respect of his employees. All right?
So, if it was specific, then we could say “the”, but when we’re just talking in general, we don’t need “the”. “Life is beautiful.”, “Friendship is precious.”, “Happiness is important.”, “I want to make money.”, “She wants to lose weight.”, “He needs to earn respect.” Video Rating: / 5
How to Create a Newspaper using Google Docs with Google Apps for Education – G-Suite for Education
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN OLDER VIDEO AND THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENCES IN GOOGLE DOCS, SUCH AS THE RESEARCH TOOL IS NOW THE EXPLORE TOOL.
This video was created for a Year 5 class that were working on writing newspaper reports. We wanted to look at how to create a Newspaper using Google Docs. The other purpose was to continue developing the skills of the Year 5 students in Word Processing.
This included creating and formatting the properties of tables and using the new Merge cells feature within Google Docs; understanding the styles feature; using the research tool to find images; and introduce them to the idea of citations using the Research tool.
The lesson was introduced with a challenge. I presented them with a finished Newspaper using Google Docs. Their challenge was to work out how I’d done it. Those that did then had to support others. The video was then used as a home learning task, therefore flipping the idea so when they came back to class they could start their newspaper.
All learners progressed extensively during this task. Not only in the Desk Top Publishing skills but in the the writing of the reports. They used the editing tools of the Word Processor in Google docs to continually re-draft and better the work.
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Learn how to use quotation marks to title things like poems, songs, and episodes of TV shows.
Practice this yourself on Khan Academy right now: https://www.khanacademy.org/miscellaneous-punctuation/e/italics–underlines–and-quotes/
Watch the next lesson: https://www.khanacademy.org/miscellaneous-punctuation/v/parentheses
Missed the previous lesson? Watch here: https://www.khanacademy.org/miscellaneous-punctuation/v/italics-and-underlining
Punctuation on Khan Academy: Punctuation is the collection of squiggles, dots, and lines that we use to separate sentences and their parts. Is a question mark punctuation? Yes, and so is an exclamation point!
About Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We’ve also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.
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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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dax90QyXgI&list=PLmwr9polMHwsR35rD9spEhjFUFa7QblF9
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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
OK, so let’s now talk about how
to choose between ‘a’ or ‘an’
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