6. a or an?
1 Do you have ____ umbrella?
2 I’d like to buy ____ hat, please.
3 I’ll see you in ____ hour.
4 UWS is ____ university.
7. a or an?
1 Do you have an umbrella?
2 I’d like to buy a hat, please.
3 I’ll see you in an hour.
4 UWS is a university.
an before a e i o u sounds
8. a /an for occupations
‘What do you do?’
‘I’m a bus driver.’
‘What does she do?’
‘She’s an electrician.’
9. Answers: Exercise 1
1 an old book
2 a window
3 a horse
4 an airport
5 a new airport
6 an organisation
7 a university
8 an hour
9 an economic problem
10. Answers: Exercise 2
1 A duck is a bird.
2 A carrot is a vegetable.
3 Tennis is a game.
4 A hammer is a tool.
5 Everest is a mountain.
6 Jupiter is a planet.
7 A pear is a fruit.
8 The Amazon is a river.
9 A rose is a flower.
10 A trumpet is a musical instrument.
11. Answers: Exercise 3
1 She’s a dentist.
2 He’s a shop assistant.
3 She’s a photographer.
4 She’s a taxi-driver.
5 He’s an electrician.
6 She’s a nurse.
7 He’s a private detective.
12. a/ an and the
1 2 3
Can you open a
There are three windows here.
a window = window 1, 2 or 3
13. a / an and the
Can you open
There is only one window – the window.
14. a / an and the
I’ve got a dog.
(there are many dogs and I’ve got one)
I’m going to take the dog for a walk.
(the dog = my dog)
Is there a dentist in Granville?
(there are many dentists – is there one here?)
I went to the dentist yesterday.
(the dentist = my dentist)
Sydney is a beautiful city.
(there are many beautiful cities, Sydney is one)
Sydney is the capital of NSW.
There is only one capital of NSW.
15. a / an or the
I bought __sandwich and __ milkshake.
___sandwich was nice but __ milkshake
I bought a sandwich and a milkshake. The
sandwich was nice but the milkshake was
the sandwich and the milkshake = my sandwich and my milkshake
16. We use the when it is clear which person or
thing we mean. For example:
the roof, the backyard, the kitchen (house)
‘Where’s Sam?’ ‘He’s in the kitchen.’
the station, the airport, the bank (city or town)
the door, the ceiling, the light ( a room)
Peter and Brian live in the same street.
(not in same street)
the sun/the moon/ the sky / the city / the
I live in the city. (not - I live in city)
the police / the airforce / the army
the top / the bottom / the left / the right
18. Do not use the with:
• Names of people and names of places.
• I went to Canberra yesterday.
• I went to the Canberra yesterday. X
• I saw Sue last week.
• I saw the Sue last week. X
• breakfast / lunch / dinner
• days / months/ years
19. Answers: Exercise 1
1 We enjoyed our holiday. The hotel was very nice.
2 Can I ask a question?
3 You need a holiday.
4 Where’s Tom? He’s in the bathroom.
5 Jane is an interesting person.
6 A: Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to the city centre?
B: Yes, you go straight ahead and then take the next turn left.
7 A: Shall we go out for a meal this evening?
B: Yes, That’s a good idea.
8 It’s a nice morning. Let’s go for a walk.
9 Amanda is a good student. When she finishes her studies she wants to be a
journalist. She lives with two friends in a flat near the college where she is
studying. The flat is small but she likes it.
10 Peter and Mary have got two children, a boy and a girl. The boy is seven
years old and the girl is three. Peter works in a factory. Mary hasn’t got a job
at the moment.
20. Answers: Exercise 2
1 Can you open the door please?
2 How far is it to the airport?
3 Can I have a cup of coffee please?
4 That’s a nice picture. I like it.
5 Can you turn off the radio please?
Why are you sitting on the floor?
21. Answers: Exercise 3
1 Don’t forget to turn off the light when you go out.
2 Enjoy your holiday and don’t forget to send me a
3 What is the name of this village?
4 Canada is a very big country.
5 What is the largest city in Canada?
6 I like this room but I don’t like the colour of the carpet.
7 ‘Are you OK?’ ‘No, I’ve got a headache.’
8 We live in an old house near the station.
9 What is the name of the director of the film we saw last
22. Quick Quiz
a / an / the or nothing.
1. Last night I stayed home and watched ____ television.
2. ____ Mary used to live in ____ country.
3. What do you usually eat for ____ breakfast?
4. ‘What’s Sue doing?’ ‘She’s on ____ phone.’
5. ____Mike is ____ good student.
6. ____Peter is _____ youngest student in the class.
7. ____ Sydney is ____ interesting city.
8. This class is ____ best class at using articles.
23. Quick Quiz
a / an / the or nothing.
1 Last night I stayed home and watched television.
2 Mary used to live in the country.
3 What do you usually eat for breakfast?
4 ‘What’s Sue doing?’ ‘She’s on the phone.’
5 Mike is a good student.
6 Peter is the youngest student in the class.
7 Sydney is an interesting city.
8 This class is the best class at using articles.
24. How to improve your use of articles
• Read and read and read
• Borrow some grammar books - :
• Essential Grammar in Use and English
Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy
have several units on articles (the
exercises you have done today are from
Essential Grammar in Use)