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IBPS Clerks – General English Study Material on Articles

Here is the study material for IBPS Clerks Examination for the General English section. The material deals with the topic - Articles. Sample / Model questions on Articles are also given in another article of this site.

The words A/An and The are called Articles.
A/An is called the Indefinite Article.
The is called the Definite Article.
A/An is used before countable singular nouns.

A is used before words beginning with a consonant sound (a, e, i, o, u are vowels and others are consonants.).
e.g.: a book, a pen etc.
An is used before words beginning with a vowel sound.
e.g.: an apple, an hour, an honour, an heir.
The words 'university' and 'European'
begin with a vowel in spelling but with a consonant sound.
e.g.: a university, a European
The words 'hour', 'heir', 'honour' begin with a vowel sound as the initial consonant 'h' is not pronounced.

The Indefinite Article 'A/An' is used
1. In the sense of one:
e.g.: I bought a car.
He brought an umbrella.
2. With the word 'one' (one begins with consonant 'W'):
e.g.: Politics should not be a one man show.
He offered me a one-hundred rupee note.
3. With units, price, speed etc.:
e.g.: He drove the car at eighty kilometers an hour.
He bought the oranges at fifty rupees a dozen.
Rice is sold at forty rupees a K.G.
4. In exclamations before singular countable nouns:
e.g.: What a pretty baby!
5. When two subjects or articles are thought of as a single unit:
e.g.: A cup and saucer must be used to drink tea.
An umbrella is made of a cloth and iron.
6. With a certain expressions of quantity:
e.g.: a lot of money, a great deal of trouble, a couple of minutes, a dozen mangoes.
7. Before a person's name when the person is perhaps unknown:
e.g.: A Ravi came for you yesterday.
8. To speak about a special meal to celebrate something/ in someone's honour:
e.g.: The staff have hosted a dinner to welcome the Managing Director.
He called all his friends to a lunch to celebrate his promotion.
9. To make a common noun of a proper noun:
e.g.: Only a Vivekananda can give such an eloquent lecture (A person with the eloquence of Vivekenanda)

The Definite Article 'the' is used:
1. To speak of a person/ thing already referred to:
e.g.: I simply love the movie.
The man standing at the door is my boss.
2. To indicate a class with nouns in the singular:
The cow is a useful animal.
Note: The nouns 'man' and 'woman', inspite of representing the whole class, do not take the before them.
e.g.: Man is the wisest of all animals.
3. To indicate a class with adjectives:
e.g.: The rich are becoming richer.
4. As an adverb with comparative:
e.g.: The higher you go, the colder it becomes.
5. With superlatives:
e.g.: Rajinikanth is the most popular actor.
6. Before the names of mountains, rivers, oceans, seas, gulfs and islands:
e.g.: the Alps, the Krishna, the Atlantic, the Bay of Bengal, the Persian gulf, the Andaman and Nicobar.
7. Before the names of holy books:
e.g.: The Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, the Gita.
8. Before musical instruments:
e.g.: Emani Sankara Sastri was a great player on the Veena.
9. Before inventions:
e.g.: Marconi invented the Radio.
10. Parts of the body:
e.g.: The soldier was wounded in the leg.
The striking employees shouted slogans by raising the hands.
11. Religious groups:
e.g.: The Hindus hold the gita in high veneration.
12. Names enforcing law:
e.g.: The police are searching for the culprit.
13. Before the names of political parties:
e.g.: The B.J.P. is launching a campaign against corruption.
14. Before names of Aeroplanes, Ships & Trains:
e.g.: The Godavari express arrives on platform No. 5.
15. Before names of an empire, dynasty or historical events:
e.g.: Gold coins were in circulation as currency during the Gupta dynasty.
16. Before Clubs/ Foundations:
e.g.: The Lion's club is going to conduct an eye camp on the 15th of
November 2012.
17. Before the common nouns denoting unique things:
e.g.: The sky is blue, the earth is round, the stars are bright, the sun is resplendent.
18. With ordinals:
e.g.: Our institute is on the third floor.

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