em 16 de Setembro de 2019
A’ and ‘an’ are indefinite articles.
We use ‘a’ and ‘an’ when we refer to something general.
A dog bit me.
An ant bit me.
Here we don’t know which dog or which ant.
‘A’ is used with consonant-sounding words like:
- A dog
- A fountain
‘An’ is used with vowel-sounding words like:
- An ant
- An echidna
But there are some exceptions. Even if the word starts with a vowel, you sometimes don’t use ‘an’.
- A university
- A unique experience
And the reverse is true as well. Even though the word starts with a consonant, you sometimes don’t use ‘a’.
- An hour
- An honour
Remember it’s the vowel sound or the consonant sound that’s the clue. Not the first letter of the word.
‘A’ and ‘an’ are usually used for singular countable nouns.
- A fountain (correct)
- A fountains (wrong)
- An ant (correct)
- An ants (wrong)
‘The’ is a definite article.
‘The’ can be used when referring to a particular thing.
- The kangaroo has been hopping around all day.
- The dogs are barking so loudly.
Here, both the speaker and listener know the specific dog and kangaroo that's mentioned.
Also it doesn’t matter if the nouns that go with ‘the’ are singular or plural. But you can pronounce T-H-E in two ways:
- /ði/ (dhee)
- /ðə/ (dhuh)
We pronounce it /ði/ (dhee) with words that start with a vowel sound.
- The Australian
- The igloo
We pronounce it /ðə/ (dhuh) with words that start with a consonant sound.
- The police
- The university