Rules of Articles in English Grammar with Pdf and Infographics

Rules of using the articles in English Grammar

Rules of Articles in English Grammar Pdf!

What are Articles in English Grammar?

‘A’, ‘An’ and ‘The’ are called Articles, (or Determiners).

As a matter of fact, they are Demonstrative Adjectives. They introduce the noun before which they are placed, is used before singular countable nouns which begin with a consonant, ‘An’ is used before singular countable nouns which begin with a vowel. (a, e, i, o, u) are vowels and the remaining letters are consonants.


  • This is a pen.
  • I like an elephant.

Types of Article in English Grammar


‘A’ and ‘An’ are Indefinite Articles because they do not point to any particular noun. The noun remains indefinite.


‘The’ is called a Definite article because it points to some particular or definite noun.


  • The book is on my table.
  • This is the boy who came here yesterday.


In these examples ‘the’ has been used before ‘book’ and ‘boy’ because the reference is to some definite ‘book’ and some definite ‘boy’.

Rules of Articles in English Grammar

Use of “THE”

‘The’ is used both before countable singular nouns and countable plural nouns. It is also used before uncountable nouns.


  • The students are on strike today.
  • Here is the book you gave me.
  • The milk is in the glass.


Use of ‘A’ and ‘AN’

Rule No. 1

As a general rule, a common noun in the singular number must take an indefinite article before it.


  • John killed a snake.
  • I saw a lion.
  • I like an apple.


Note: ‘A’ and ‘An’ are often used in the sense of ‘any’ or Ione’ as,

  • Give me a (any) pencil
  • A (any) boy came here yesterday
  • Three feet make a (one) yard.


Rule No. 2

The article ‘an’ is generally used before words beginning with a vowel sound or with a silent ‘A’ is used only before consonants.


An ass; an enemy; an orange; an umbrella; an honest man; an heir; an hour etc. But a boy; a snake; a car etc.


Rule No. 3

‘An’ is also used before such abbreviations as are pronounced With a vowel Bound.


An M.A; An LLB; An M.B.B.S; An S.D.O; etc.


Rule NO. 4

‘A’ and ‘An’ are used after a linking verb, before a noun or a noun phrase.


Rule NO. 5

When a common noun in the singular is used to represent a whole class.


  • The cow is a useful animal.
  • The dog is faithful.


(In this example ‘cow’ represents the entire class or kind of ‘cows’ and ‘dog‘ stands for all dogs’, hence ‘the’ has been used before them).


Rule NO. 6

Before the names of Gulfs, Rivers, Seas, Oceans, Ships, Bays, Groups of Islands, Mountain ranges etc.


The Persian Gulf; The Ganges; The Red Sea; The Indian Ocean; The Andaman Islands; The Bay of Bengal; The Himalayas, The Indus, The Jhelum, The Khyber pass.


Note: ‘The’ is not used before the name of single Islands or mountains. Thus, it would be wrong to use ‘the’ before the following nouns;

Ceylon (name of single Island); Everest; Mount Abu, etc.             


Rule NO. 7

Before the names of important buildings.


The Taj Mahal; The Red Fort; The Badshahi Mosque.


Rule NO. 8

Before the name of Countries and States, if these names describe the countries.


The Punjab; The U.S.A.; The U.S.S.R.; The U.N.O.; The U.A.R. etc.


Rule NO. 9

Before the names of scriptures (Holy books), Newspapers, and Magazines.


The Quran; The Pakistan Times; The Mag; The News; The Nation etc.


Rule NO. 10

Before the names of Nationalities, Communities, Institutions, Religious Groups, Political Parties etc.


The French, The Muslims, The Muslim League, The Hindus, etc.


Rule NO. 11

Before a proper noun, if it is qualified by some adjective.


The immortal Shakespeare; The great Ceased etc.


Rules NO. 12

Before the names of unique things.


The Sun; The Moon; The Sea; The Ocean; The Earth; The Sky; The World; The Universe, The North Pole.


Rule NO. 13

With adjectives in the superlative degree.


  • He is the best boy of the class.
  • The darkest cloud has a silver lining.


Rule NO. 14

Before an adjective used as a noun.


The rich should help the poor.

Honor the brave and the good.


Rule NO. 15

Before the comparative degrees of adjectives when there is a sense of proportion.


The deeper the well, the cooler the water, The more, the merrier, The more they get, the more they want.


Rule NO. 16

‘The’ is used when we compare one proper noun to another.


  • Kashmir is the Switzerland of Pakistan.
  • Allama Iqbal is the Shakespeare of Pakistan.


Rule NO. 17

In certain fixed idioms and phrases


  • He is in the wrong.
  • He is not yet out of the woods.
  • From the frying pan…


Rule NO. 18

“The” is used before the directions.


The South, The North



Where, No article is used:

1. Before the names of cities, countries, continents, and persons.


  • He lives in Pakistan. (not the Pakistan)
  • Pakistan is a great country. (not the Pakistan)
  • Asia is the biggest continent (not the Asia)
  • My name is John. (not the John)
  • The U.S.A., The Congo, The Sudan, etc.


2. Before a common noun used in its widest general sense.


  • Man is Mortal (not the man)


3. Before plural countable nouns used in a general sense.


  • Birds fly in the sky. (not the birds)
  • Flowers are beautiful (not the flowers)
  • Before abstract nouns used in a general sense.
  • Honesty is the best policy. (not the honesty)
  • Virtue is its own reward. (not the virtue)


4. Before mass or material nouns


  • Pakistanis take rice. (not the rice)
  • My house is made of brick and stone. (not the brick and the stone)
  • Gold doth friendship separate (not the gold)

5. Before titles when they are not followed by some proper noun.


  • The Queen (but not the Queen Elizabeth)
  • The Duke (but not the Duke of York)
  • The Quaid-i-Azam (but not he Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah)


6. No article is ever used after ‘kind of’ and ‘sort of’.


  • What kind of flower is it? (not a flower).
  • I do not like this sort of thing. (not a thing)


7. Before relatives as ‘father’, ‘mother’, ‘uncle’, etc.


  • I do not think father will like this act.
  • My mother is ill with fever.


8. In certain well-established phrases.


To take to heart, to lose heart, to set sail, to catch fire, to take a breath, to give battle, to send word, to give ear, by day, by night, at home, at sunset, on foot, on horseback, by train, at fault, etc.




Rule No. 1

When two or more adjectives qualify the same noun, the article is used before the first adjective only. But when the adjectives refer to different nouns, the article is used before each adjective; as,


  • A white and black cow. (one cow having both the colors)
  • A white and a black cow (two cows, one white and the other black)


Rule No. 2

When two or more nouns connected by ‘and’ refer to the same person or thing, the article is used before the first only. But when they refer to different persons or things, the article is used before each noun; as,


  • The philosopher and statesman. (One man having both the personalities)
  • The philosopher and the statesman. (two persons one philosopher and the other statesman).


Rule No. 3

Similar is the case with nouns used for showing comparison, i.e. in expressing a comparison, if two nouns refer to the same person or thing, the article is used before the first noun only. But if they refer to different persons or things, the article must be used before each noun; as,


  • He is a better poet than novelist. (i.e. the same person (he) is more successful as a poet and less as a novelist).
  • He is a better poet than a novelist, (i.e. he, as a poet is contributing more than any novelist would have done).

Infographics (Rules of using the articles in English Grammar)

Rules of using the articles in English Grammar grammar rules for articles article grammar rules rules for article usage

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