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Articles generally precede a noun and include "a", "an", and "the". There are two types of articles:

Definite Article: "The"

  • Used before a specific singular or plural noun
    • e.g., The dogs chased the fox in the field.

Indefinite Article: "A" or "an"

  • "A" or "an" indicate that a noun is unspecific and can refer to any member of a group.
    e.g. A bird just flew past the window. (bird is unspecific - it could be any bird)

Introduction to Articles (6:20 video)

This video will provide you with an introduction to articles. While the video is playing, click "Menu" to navigate through the presentation or see the transcript. For the best viewing experience, please use FireFox or Safari web browsers. If you would like to return to specific sections of the video, please see below:

  1. Introduction (1:18)
  2. Definite and Indefinite Articles (2:28)
  3. Countable and Noncountable Articles (0:49)
  4. Omission of Articles (0:15)
  5. Conclusion (1:31)

Click on Introduction to Articles PowerPoint if you would like the slides from the video; the transcript is available via the slide notes. 


Purdue University. (n.d.). How to use articles (a/an/the). Purdue Online Writing Lab.