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April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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Mission MBA Admission 2013-14: Language Skills

MBA aspirants are tested for their language skills in all MBA entrance tests hence, it is important to enhance them.  Today, you will read “How to use articles?”
 
There are three articles in the English language – ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘an’. Many people use the articles interchangeably, which is incorrect. ‘The’ refers to a specific or a particular noun, whereas ‘a’ and ‘an’ are used to modify non-specific nouns.
 
Therefore, ‘the’ is known as a definite article and ‘a’ and ‘an’ are known as indefinite articles. For example, if you are referring to a specific book, you can say, “Let us read the book”. On the other hand, if you are referring to a book in general, you can say, “Let us read a book”. 
 
The article ‘a’ is used for a word beginning with a consonant whereas the article ‘an’ is used for a word beginning with a vowel. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. For example, even though the word ‘hour’ begins with a consonant, the article ‘an’ is used before this word because ‘h’ is silent in ‘hour’. 
 
The article ‘the’ can be used with uncountable nouns such as water, air, and milk. So, if you are referring to a particular water body, you can say, “He sailed over the water”. If you are referring to a general water body, you can say, “He sailed over water”. 
For uncountable nouns, ‘a’ and ‘an’ are not used. ‘A’ and ‘an’ can be used only for countable nouns. For example, “I drank a glass of milk”. Here, ‘glass’ is countable and you are not referring to a particular glass.
 
‘The’ is used for certain geographical nouns such as ‘the Middle East’, ‘the West’, ‘the North Pole’ and ‘the Black Forest’. If you are referring to continents, countries, cities, and towns, you should not use any article. Some nouns do not need any article and these nouns include sports, academic subjects, and languages.
 
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