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  • So another question from students...

  • This one is asking about articles, specifically the definite article "the."

  • When we use it and when we don't, specifically with plural nouns.

  • Thanks for the question.

  • Really good one and we get, asked a lot about articles.

  • Articles are very confusing for students because some languages don't use them, and the ones which do, don't usually have the same rules as us.

  • So, let's start with the easy one, the indefinite articles "a" and "an."

  • These are easy.

  • You have a singular countable noun.

  • You put "a" or "an" in front of the noun.

  • For example, one iPhone, an iPhone.

  • Poof, a fairy.

  • Why are you here, again?

  • You're always here ruining the lesson.

  • Yeah.

  • No one likes you.

  • But yeah, I suppose, I mean, you can count that.

  • One fairy, two fairies...

  • Really?

  • Sick.

  • Okay, so one fairy is a fairy.

  • Hello, mate.

  • That's your first rule.

  • A singular countable noun we use "a" or "an."

  • Another rule for the indefinite articles "a" and "an."

  • Remember, these are indefinite or nonspecific.

  • When you mention something for the first time in a story, the listener doesn't specifically know which object you're talking about, so we use that.

  • Again, for singular countable nouns.

  • For example, I met a girl yesterday.

  • I killed a fairy today.

  • Wait, what?

  • We use "the," the definite article, when we're talking about a specific group of something or one singular noun, which is specific and we both know which noun and we're talking about.

  • So for example, I killed a fairy today.

  • We both don't know which fairy.

  • In the second sentence, I'm referencing the same fairy again.

  • So I say, I killed a fairy today.

  • I killed the fairy, the fairy, because it was stupid.

  • I'm not dead... pretty hurt though.

  • That's blood, yep, I'm bleeding.

  • Call me an ambulance.

  • So that's with singular countable nouns.

  • We're being general, we use "a."

  • We're being specific, we use "the."

  • But your question is about plural nouns and when we use and don't use "the."

  • Easy, you just have to apply that logic to plural nouns.

  • Remember with singular nouns, we were being general we used "a."

  • Where we were being specific, "the."

  • With plural nouns, it's the same logic.

  • When we talk about a specific group we use "the."

  • Example...

  • Uh, let's see.

  • Russian people are very nice.

  • But the Russian people I've met...

  • Specific group.

  • The Russian people I've met are crazy.

  • I'm joking Russians, you're cool.

  • Another example: Babies are very annoying.

  • Babies are very annoying.

  • So I'm being general.

  • When it's a plural noun, we don't use any article.

  • Remember single nouns we used "a" for a general situation?

  • Plural nouns, we don't use any article if we're being general.

  • Babies are annoying.

  • However, the babies in my family are very cute.

  • I said the babies because this is a specific group of babies.

  • General: no article.

  • Specific group: the.

  • That's with plural nouns.

  • Remember again with singular nouns.

  • General : "a."

  • Specific: "the."

  • Plural nouns...

  • General : no article.

  • Specific : "the."

  • We use this one we want to indicate a specific group or a specific thing which we both understand.

  • Another example with babies.

  • Imagine you're sitting on a plane and you feel this...

  • The baby behind me is very annoying.

  • I say "the" because we both understand which baby.

  • I wouldn't say, for example, "A baby behind me is annoying."

  • No, I'm not being general.

  • I'm being specific.

  • There are many more rules with articles, and I think we'll do another one later explaining all of the rules.

  • But I hope that answers your question on plural nouns and when we use and don't use the definite article "the."

  • Bye bye.

So another question from students...

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B1 UK TOEIC fairy plural specific singular article

A, AN, THE - Articles in English

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    Annie Chien posted on 2020/01/13
Video vocabulary