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 Help for LPI, IELTS, TOEFL, SAT and Grade 12 Students by Michele Wong
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Grade 12



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Sample Chapter Grammar Guide




Chapter 3 "Articles"
Grammar Guide Index

  • Chapter 1. Nouns Page 3
  • Chapter 2. Number and Subject Verb Agreement Page 5
  • Chapter 3. Articles Page 10
  • Chapter 4. Pronouns Page 16
  • Chapter 5. Tenses Page 23
  • Chapter 6. Verbs Page 40
  • Chapter 7. Active and Passive Tenses Page 44
  • Chapter 8. Gerunds and Infinitives Page 50
  • Chapter 9. Modals Page 56
  • Chapter 10. Adjectives and Adverbs Page 60
  • Chapter 11. Prepositions 67
  • Chapter 12. Conjunctions Page 77
  • Chapter 13. Punctuation Page 83
  • Chapter 14. Sentence Structure Page 94
  • Chapter 15. Reported Speech Page 109
  • Chapter 16. Questions Page 113
  • Chapter 17. Vocabulary Page 120
  • Chapter 18. Grammar Review Test Page 125
  • Chapter 19. Exercise and Test Answers Page 135
  • Supplemental: Irregular Verb Listing Page 167



Chapter 3 : ARTICLES

When to use the indefinite articles A and An:

  • The indefinite article a is used with nouns that begin with a consonant. eg. a book.

  • The indefinite article an is used with nouns that begin with a vowel. eg. an orange.

  • Certain nouns that have a vowel sound also require the article an. eg. an hour.

  • Certain words that begin with a silent vowel require the article a. eg. a utility truck.

  • We use a, an with phrases that relate to frequency, cost or speed. eg.

  • She swims three times a week.

  • It costs two dollars a kilogram.

  • Tim was driving at 120 km an hour.

  • You are improving at a steady rate.


When to use the definite article "The":

  • Weights/measures:
    I buy milk by the litre.

  • Musical instruments:
    She plays the piano.

  • Groups of people:
    The blind, the Jews.

  • Particular group of animals:
    The Indian Elephant, the Monarch Butterfly.

  • Certain time terminology:
    The afternoon, the morning.

  • Points of the Compass in terms of place:
    The north is colder than the south. The west was a land of cowboys once.

  • Travel, when using the preposition "On":
    I rode on the bus for two hours to get to Portland. It's fun being on the train.

  • Communication, when using the preposition "On":
    I spoke to her on the telephone. We heard the news on the radio.

  • Water and Land Masses:
    The Huang Ho River, the Red Sea, the Pacific Ocean, the Rockies, the Gulf Islands, the Sahara Desert.

  • Objects that are unique:
    The earth, the sun, the moon.

  • When there is specific reference:
    The shop that was bought by Mr. Lee has just been renovated. The boy that saved the drowning dog is actually my cousin.

  • Certain places:
    The movies, the park. I was at the store this morning and at the beach this afternoon. We can either go the park or the zoo, if you want.

  • When an object or a place belongs to something or someone:
    Put their table in the corner of that room. The staircase of that house is very steep.

  • Certain countries; particularly groups of islands or country names with the words Republic or United:
    The Philippines, the Aleutian Islands, the Republic of China, the United States, the United Emirates.


When not to use the article "The":

  • Games and Sports:
    Chess, football, basketball.

  • Meals:
    Dinner, lunch.

  • Clock time:
    Two o'clock.

  • Certain time terminology:
    At noon, at midnight, at dawn, at dusk.

  • Direction:
    I am going east tomorrow. The boat sailed south.

  • Travel, using the preposition 'by':
    I went to school by bus today.

  • Communication, using the preposition 'by':
    We communicated with each other by mail.

  • Geography: Single Mountain or Lake:
    Mount Seymour, Lake Winnipeg.

  • General Animals that are plural:
    Dogs, cats, elephants.

  • General nouns that make no reference to a special place, subject, person:
    I enjoy life more as I get older. He was at sea for a long time.

  • Certain nouns that are intangible eg. luck, fate, ingratitude:
    She needs luck to be able to carry this through. Kindness is sometimes not always appreciated.

  • Some places, when not specified, never need the article 'the'. eg. prison, school:
    I want to go to university next year. The robber was sent to jail finally. Father is at work at the moment. She's going to bed early tonight.

  • Most countries:
    Australia, Iran, Singapore.


3.1 Articles Work Sheet
Use a, an, the or leave the space blank

  1. _____ Snow Leopard is a rare animal in _____ northern parts of China.

  2. Before we headed _____ east, we filled _____ gas tank up.

  3. Let's make _____ salad for _____ lunch.

  4. _____ dinner you prepared yesterday was delicious.

  5. He plays _____ piano beautifully. She plays _____ chess well.

  6. Mother buys apples by _____ kilograms. She buys cloth by _____ metre.

  7. _____ doctor that saved our son's life is _____ son of our town mayor.

  8. _____ reason why it rains so heavily here is because we are near _____ Rocky Mountains.

  9. They live by _____ Mississippi River which is one of _____ world's longest rivers.

  10. We must use _____ compass to keep in _____ right direction. At this point we are somewhere in _____ middle of _____ forest.

  11. He lives by _____ Red Sea and dreams of becoming _____ pirate. "A life at sea would be _____ life for me!" he always exclaims.

  12. In _____ kind society, _____ rich usually make _____ effort to help _____ poor.

  13. Ive studied _____ history of _____ Industrial Revolution before. It seems without _____ doubt that _____ beginning of _____ nineteenth century has changed remarkably _____ face of business.

  14. Have you been to _____ Great Lakes? Standing by _____ edge of Lake Superior is like standing by _____ edge of _____ Pacific Ocean. One sees _____ horizon before one can see _____ other side.



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