Grammar Quiz – Articles (a, an, the)

Articles are basically adjectives. They modify nouns. There are three articles namely a, an, and the.  The is used to refer to something specific or particular. It is called a definite article. A and an refer to something non-specific or non-particular. They are called indefinite articles.

Examples

* Please give me the newspaper. In this sentence, the speaker refers to only one news paper.
* Please give me a newspaper. In this sentence, there are many news papers. The speaker doesn’t care what newspaper.
* An amateur chess player won the world championship match. In this sentence, an amateur player is a non-specific player; however, the world championship match is a specific championship game.

Difference Between A and An

(1) a is used for a singular nouns that begin with a consonant letter (a cat, a chair, a mirror, a horse) or beginning with a consonant sound (a university which really sound like ‘yooniversity’)
* an is used for singular nouns that begin with a vowel letter (an elephant, an eggplant) and begin with a vowel sound (an hour which sound like ‘our’)

Grammar Quiz – Articles

Choose the article that best goes into the blank/s in each sentence.

1. Bill was so tired, so he put his bag on ____ sofa and watched TV.

Answer
The sofa referred to is a specific sofa, so the correct answer is the

2. It’s so hot. Would you like to go to a restaurant and have ___ cold rink?

Answer
The speaker was not thinking of a specific drink yet, so the correct answer is a

3. My father is ___ professor at ___ university in Singapore.

Answer
There are many professors and there are also many universities, so the answers are both a. Remember, the noun that the first article modifies is professor and not father. When you say, my father is the professor, it means that he is the only professor at one of the universities.

4. Jim, stop playing. Your father is on ___ phone.

Answer
The speaker is referring to a particular phone, so the answer is the

5. I will wait for him at ___ front gate of the building.

Answer
The speaker refers to a specific gate, so the correct answer is the.

6. I have been waiting for you for more than ___ hour.

Answer
an 

7. Victor is ___ amazing orator.

Answer
an

8. Mona Lisa is __ great work of art.

Answer
a

9.  I think, someday, some people will live on ___ moon.

Answer
the 

10. Can you pass me __ sugar please?

Answer
The speaker refers to the sugar near the listener. So, the correct answer is the.

How many did you answer correctly? For more quizzes and practice test, visit the Practice Test page.

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