Q & A with Fastidious: Articles, a/an & the.

Merilane: Thanks for turning up, Fastidious. 

Fastidious: No problem. Living the dream!

Merilane: Of course. What have you got for us today?

Fastidious: Articles, Merilane, and I don’t mean the legal variety.

Merilane: Tell me then, what are these articles you speak of?

Fastidious: They are Parts of Speech. There are two types: Definite and Indefinite

Merilane: Would I understand the usage better by knowing the meanings of these terms?

Fastidious: Definitely! Whatever works for you. Definite means something clear, certain, or fixed. Whereas, indefinite refers to something more vague, and unclear.  So …

1. The definite article THE is used to draw attention to specific or particular nouns in a sentence. 

eg: The longest river in the world is the Nile. (This sentence refers to a specific river.)

2. The indefinite article A/AN is used to draw attention to general nouns in a sentence. 

eg: A river is a body of water, just like an ocean. (This sentence makes a generalised statement about rivers.)

Merilane: Why did you use the indefinite article an?

Fastidious: An is used before nouns starting with an unpronounced h or a vowel. 

Merilane: Thanks. I’m up to speed. 

Fastidious: My work here is done. 

Merilane: Brilliant. Hey. Why are you wearing such dark glasses inside?

Fastidious: I was reading Hemingway’s Snows of Kilimanjaro and the snow was so bright it hurt my eyes! 😉

Kyla-Jayne Rajah

Kyla-Jayne Rajah

Author, Poet and lover of words. Kyla-Jayne enjoys editing, writing and publishing books for her gorgeous clients. In her spare time she talks to the cat, walks the coastline, and pursues her own writing goals.

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