Articles are part of our linguistic repertoire and in a basic sense, articles are “words.” However, an article is anything single member of a genus of articles used to mark the actual identification of the definite referents of other words. The article category constitutes a segment of language. It therefore comprises the entire range of human speech from greetings to professions.
In English, articles are divided into two broad categories: indefinite and definite. An indefinite article can indicate either a noun or a definite adjective. As opposed to a definite article, an indefinite article may point to a noun or it may be descriptive phrase that suggests something which cannot be definite. For example, “a girl in blue jeans” denotes a particular girl, but it is also used as a description of blue jeans. Likewise, the articles “a”, “the”, “be”, “of”, “that,” “and” and “the” are definite articles while “the” is indefinite.
Many English learners come across the difficulty of expressing thoughts in a clear and precise manner. To help them out, instructors of English as Second Language (ESL) at schools, colleges and universities always insist on students learning articles in their respective languages. The biggest challenge for students when it comes to learning articles of foreign origin lies in the fact that they do not understand the distinction between indefinite articles and definite articles. Even when confronted with an unfamiliar word, many ESL students blab up the articles in their language quickly without pausing to think about its meaning. Students need to take time to digest the concept of articles of foreign origin before using it in their daily conversations. They must learn how to use articles of foreign origin with precision and clarity.
Using articles in writing is not as easy as it sounds. In order to understand how to write articles correctly, you need to know the difference between singular and plurals articles. While articles in the singular form can follow one specific noun, articles in the plural form can follow more than one noun. For example, the article “the dog” in “the dog’s house” is clearly a singular article, but “the dog’s house” is a plural article.
One thing that’s important to remember in writing is that you need to use articles with numbers. As such, when describing a product, business, or individual, you need to use articles that describe the object rather than the subject of the verb. For example, if I say I want to buy a new puppy, I’d better use “a puppy’s house” as the subject of my verb “to buy.” When I say I want to eat cake, the article I want to eat Cake is much more specific and useful than “the cook’s bakery.”
ESL teachers often stress the importance of understanding the difference between articles and their synonyms. By memorizing articles in both the singular and plural forms, students are better prepared to write and understand grammatical articles in the future. Learning how to use articles to describe things you see and know helps you create a more fluid language that will enable you to use it in just about any situation. Articles play an important role in the world and by learning more about them you can improve your communication skills with others. If you’re a beginner ESL teacher, don’t hesitate to take the extra time to learn the rules and the different types of articles that you will be using!