No Articles - 05

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Chief Rules - III - No Articles.


In many cases Articles are not used.

1. Before (i) proper nouns, (ii) abstract nouns, and (iii) uncountable nouns.

(i) Sri Lanka is known as Ceylon earlier.
(ii) Patience is a virtue.
(iii) Water is an essence.

2. Before the names of materials.

# Iron and steel are not the same thing.
# Diamonds are carbon.

3. Before Plural Nouns which denote a class.
# Gypsies are often thievish.
# Sailors are called “handymen”. 
[Handyman = jack of all trades = odd-job man.]

4. Before certain titles and names denoting relationships.

# Major Kobbekaduwe gave this sword to me.
# President Mahinda / MaithreepAla / Gotabhaya / Roosevelt seems to be very good-natured.

(A = No capitalization is used in the middle of any term.)

5. Generally, before the name of festivals (Christmas) / languages (Sinhala) / games (Cricket) / color (White) / countries (Sri Lanka); days (Sunday), months (January), seasons (Summer); religious (Temple), health (Hospital) and educational institutions (School); clothing (Shorts), indefinite uncountable noun (Juice), names of relatives (Mother), etc.

"GRAMMAR: When to use 'the'.

Do not use the: With uncountable or plural nouns to talk about a type of thing rather than specific things the reader or listener already knows about: We drank tea and ate sandwiches. | I like music. | We use computers.

With the name of a language: Do you speak English? | He understands French well. 

With words for institutions such as school, prison, college, university, church when you are talking about them in a general way: Her son is at school. | She spent a year in prison. | Do you go to church?

With times, days, months, and seasons, especially after at, by, on, and in, or before last meaning 'the one before this': at midnight | on Tuesday | in May | I saw her last week.
 
With a date when you write it: His birthday is July 29th. But in speech, you say the date as 'July the 29th'. 
 
With the name of a meal: Have you had breakfast? | Come round after dinner. 

With the name of a place, for example a street, town, country, or airport: This is Downing Street. | We flew to Boston. | They love Japan. | He's climbed Everest twice. But some places and countries, and all rivers and oceans, have the as part of their name: the Bronx | the Netherlands | the UK | the US | the United States of America | the Rockies | the Mississippi | the Atlantic.
 
Use the: When you are talking about something specific or something that the reader or listener already knows about: Did you eat the sandwiches (= the ones we made, mentioned, saw etc. earlier)? | I didn't like the music in the film. | the computers we use.
  
With words for institutions when you are talking about a particular one: They go to the school in the village. | the church on the corner.

With days and seasons when you give more information about which specific one you mean: on the Tuesday before Christmas | in the summer after I graduated.

With nationality words, to mean 'the people of a particular country' : She loves the French (= the French people).
 
To make an adjective into a noun referring to a group of people: help for the disadvantaged (= people who are disadvantaged)" - Source: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.

Homework – Exercise.

Put the correct articles in the following passages:—

1. Which is sweeter, apple or pear?

2. There is cold draught; is there open window somewhere?

3. First time you see him, make him offer.

4. Wait bit, train is hour late.

5. There were number of ponies on the ranch, but two I used to ride most often were Arab stallion and small white mare.

6. Track, which was at first very steep, now led straight down for about thousand, feet, in consequence of landslip. There cavalry came to standstill.

7. Last week eggs were six annas dozen, but today you can buy three and quarter dozen for rupee.

8. Guide undertook to bring them in less than week to spot from where they could see sea.

9. When I was little further on path I saw old man sitting on bank of stream, looking very infirm.

10. There, on steep slope facing north, where sand was not yet heated by sun, we rested remainder of day.

11. All of sudden Kasim stopped short, gripped me by shoulder, and wildly staring eyes pointed towards east, without uttering word.

12. Our next plan was to gather together in heap all dry branches we could find round about trees, and set fire to them, making huge bonfire, which flung its ruddy glare long way across dunes.

13. There has been many dispute as to which is greater river—Nile or Ganges. Latter, which supplies river system of Bengal, and has its source in ice-cave at foot of Himalayan snow-bed, is river of big cities: Calcutta, Monghyr, Patna, Benares and Allahabad all lie on course of Ganges below its junction with Jumna.

14. In Bombay monkey walked through open door of cinema hall, found seat, watched whole show quietly, and departed with dignity at finish.

15. ... .... ...

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