the adverb clause.ppt

Essay by mohamed67 October 2014

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Keywords , , , ,

USE OF ARTICLES (a, an, the)

What did these words originally mean?

A/AN is an old word meaning `one'

(in many European languages the ordinary word for `one' is used to translate English `a' or `an' and you can also sometimes use Cantonese `yat go' in the same way)

THE is an old word meaning `this' or `that'

These words no longer have their full original meaning but if you remember that meaning it can sometimes help you to decide which word you need to use.

A or AN?

Use A before a consonant sound

Use AN before a vowel sound

So: a banana,

an orange,

a university (vowel letter but a consonant sound - /j/)

an MTR train (consonant letter but a vowel sound - /em/)

Use of A/AN

You use these words with a singular, countable noun:

when something is mentioned for the first time

E,g. There is a gorilla in the general office

when you mention one of a group of objects but do not make it clear which of them you mean

E.g. Go to the cupboard and bring me a plate

(The listener already knows about the plates in the cupboard but it does not matter which of the plates he brings)

You ALWAYS need to use A or AN with a singular countable noun unless it already has a word like the, my, this etc.showing

which person or thing is being referred to:

So: I saw a dog/the dog/your dog/ this dog (

BUT I saw dog X

Using THE

Use THE when the listener or reader already knows which person or thing you are referring to:

something which has already been mentioned before.

E.g. The gorilla switched on the air-conditioner (you know about the gorilla because I mentioned...