Written section of the TOEFL: definite and indefinite article

Usually, in cases where the speaker does not mean a specific person, place or object, the indefinite article “a” or “an” in the singular is used. It is also required when the object is mentioned for the first time, and then it will be replaced by a certain article “the”.


 – What a fascinating story you just told!

– Yes, the story was very exciting.

As for a certain article, it is used when we know what kind of person, place or object we are talking about. “The” can be used for both calculable and incalculable singular and plural nouns.


 The chowder we had at noon was fantastic.

The artwork is 100% authentic to the African region.

 The definite article is also used to describe unique objects, such as the moon, the sun, the Empire State Building, the Big Dipper, etc.

Pay attention to the following cases of the use of a certain article:

public places: the library, the movies

specific geographical names: the Great Lakes, the Nile River, the Amazon

Countries: the U.S., the United Kingdom

Overall, it takes time. to get used to the use of definite and indeterminate articles in English. I advise you to first remember the common cases of using a certain article (country, place, etc.) and monitor how articles are used in conversation in films.

Constantly repeat the rules of using English articles so that on the day of the exam you can correctly use a, an, some and the in the written and oral sections of the TOEFL.

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