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  • Hi, everyone. I'm Jade. In this lesson today, we're looking at the rules for articles, but

  • more specifically, the rules where we have exceptions in using articles. So when I'm

  • observing people's English, all the time I'm hearing the same mistakes with articles. So

  • what you will learn to do in this lesson is how to avoid those really, really common mistakes

  • I hear all the time.

  • If you're somebody who just doesn't use articles at all because in your native language, you

  • don't have articles, I understand it can be really, really hard to start using them. But

  • they are an important aspect of grammar, and you should be using them. So if you watch

  • this lesson, you'll get some tips for using articles, where you need them, and where you

  • shouldn't use them. And also, if you're someone who's getting articles right nearly all the

  • time, I'm quite sure that you will pick up one or two rules here that you didn't know

  • before. So let's get started.

  • There are eight different rules. Rule No. 1: When we're talking about countries, most

  • countries we don't use an article. So here some sentences. "She lives in England. They

  • live in America." We don't use articles. But if the country's considered to be a nation

  • state, a collection of different states, or a collection of different countries in one

  • bigger state, then we use articles. Here are examples. So "the U.S.A., the U.K., the U.A.E."

  • -- where I spend a lot of my time -- and here are -- also, we need to mention islands. When

  • a country is a group of islands, we always use articles. So we would say "the Virgin

  • Islands", and we'd say "the Philippines" as well.

  • It's interesting that we can say, "She lives in England" because England is one country,

  • but when talking about the same -- okay, it's not exactly the same place, the U.K., because

  • it's -- the U.K. is more than one country. It's more than just England. But sometimes

  • people think of it as being the same place. It's not. When we're talking about the U.K.,

  • we need an article, but just for "England", it's okay not to use an article.

  • Let's take a look at rule No. 2. Rule No. 2 -- this is a really subtle rule, here. And

  • this one I always correct in sentences. When people talk about meals -- breakfast, lunch,

  • dinner, also brunch is a meal you might not know. It's in between breakfast and lunch.

  • -- we don't use articles. So here's a correct sentence. "I don't eat breakfast." I'm talking

  • in general there. "I don't eat breakfast." That's okay to say. However, if I'm being

  • specific, "We didn't like the dinner", it's okay to use an article here. You need to.

  • So what does the sentence actually mean? Imagine that we were out last night, and we had a

  • meal. And now, we're talking about it. "Well, the place was nice, but I didn't like the

  • dinner." Being specific about that experience we had. If I'm talking in general, "I don't

  • like dinner", that would just mean all the time, okay? So it's a very big difference

  • in meaning.

  • Now, we'll look at rule No. 3 for jobs. Jobs take the indefinite article. That's a grammar

  • word. And "indefinite article" means "a". We don't use "the". Here's our example. "I

  • want to be a politician." I actually really don't want to be a politician, but maybe some

  • of you watching this do. If you want to be a politician, you should really study English

  • really hard. It's very important.

  • Let's have a look at the next rules. No. 4 -- do you know this English language board

  • game called "Scrabble"? In this board game, you get points for spelling words. And if

  • you can spell a long word, that's better, usually. It depends. But sometimes, you'll

  • have a long word that everybody knows, but actually, you can't get any points for it

  • in Scrabble because it's a proper noun. And that basically means a noun that takes a capital

  • letter. So it could be a word that everybody knows like "June, August, Friday" or a place

  • name like "London". And you don't get any points for that in Scrabble. Also, how it

  • relates to this lesson is when we're using proper nouns, we don't use "the". We don't

  • use the definite article. But we can use prepositions. So "See you on Monday" or "He is in London."

  • It's okay with proper nouns, but not the definite article.

  • Rule No. 5: When we're talking about languages, we don't use articles there either. So we

  • can say, "He speaks English." That's a perfectly good sentence.

  • And rule No. 6, okay. When there's only one of something, then we use "the". So what things

  • are there only one of something? Well, if you look up in the sky, and it's night. There's

  • only one moon. And there's only one sun in our solar system. So when we're using the

  • moon and the sun, we always use "the" with it. And maybe this one is a confusion sometimes

  • because in your language, maybe "moon" and "sun" are names, so you think they don't use

  • an article. Well, anyway, in English, they do take an article, so it's really important

  • that you don't forget to use "the". And -- oh, yes. Here's another one that there's only

  • one of something in the world. The Internet, okay? There's just one Internet. There are

  • all these different computers and devices connected to it, but there's just one Internet.

  • So we use "the" with "Internet".

  • When we come back, we're just going to look at the final rules for using articles, the ones

  • that people get wrong all the time.

  • Okay, let's take a look at the last two rules for articles. No. 7 is uncountable nouns.

  • What are uncountable nouns? These are nouns that we don't add S to, and we find them most

  • of the time when we're talking about food. For example, "bread". Usually we don't put

  • a plural with "bread" or "pasta" or "rice". These kinds of things are uncountable nouns.

  • So usually, we're not going to use "the" with them if you're talking in general. If you

  • say, "I like bread", we're talking in general, just as a statement. But if you say, "I like

  • the bread", we're talking about something in the room with us, something we can see,

  • something at the table with us now, some specific bread.

  • Rule No. 8 is very similar: abstract nouns. Again, these don't take a plural. What abstract

  • nouns are is they represent concepts, not real things that we can touch in the world.

  • They're ideas, concepts. So "information" is an abstract noun, and "freedom" is an abstract

  • noun". And when do we use an article with these?when don't we use an article? Let's

  • have a look. "The information was helpful." Here, we're being specific. I'm maybe talking

  • about something I'm holding in my hands. Whereas, "Freedom is worth dying for" -- there is no

  • article here because that's a general grand statement about freedom. And if we put abstract

  • nouns at the beginning of sentences, usually we don't want an article there because we're

  • talking in general.

  • So there are my eight irregular rules for articles. If you apply these, that will help

  • take your English to a higher level because many of these rules people miss out and not

  • using articles where they need to be, or the other way around. So if you want to take this

  • a little bit further, you can go to the website, and you can do the quiz on the website. Also,

  • if you like this video, you can subscribe. Subscribe here on my engVid channel. And also,

  • on my other YouTube channel where I've got more than 200 videos to help you learn English,

  • as well. So yes. I'm finished now. And I hope you come back soon for more English with me.

  • Bye-bye.

Hi, everyone. I'm Jade. In this lesson today, we're looking at the rules for articles, but

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A2 UK article talking rule abstract bread england

Grammar: 8 rules for using 'THE' in English

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    Bono Chen posted on 2014/11/05
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