What are Articles?

This week I am going to be focusing on Articles of speech.

What is an Article? Or a Article?

Well, all the following are articles: the, a, an.

Articles are words that define nouns. What does it mean to define a noun?

Take the following sentences:

At the park, I kicked the football

At a park, I kicked a football.

The use of the and a here give specificity to the situation. ‘The park’ is a specific park whereas

a park’ is any park.

Definite and Indefinite articles

There are technical terms for the differences in the two types of article. Definite and Indefinite.

The is the definite article as it makes the noun specific, and yep, you guessed it, a and an are indefinite articles.

Which indefinite article do I use? I hear you ask’.

Well, there is a general rule for this, and yes there are exceptions. The rule is a comes before a noun where the noun begins with a consonant, and ‘an’ comes before a noun that begins with a vowel.

For example:

I want an Ice cream – started with an ‘I’ (vowel) and therefore, is an.

I want a new car – adjective started with ‘n’ (consonant) and therefore, is a

Zero article

There is such a thing as a zero article.

A zero article usually applies to plurals or mass nouns

For example:

People are not good with wasps (including me). As ‘wasps’ is plural, no article is required.

It is also worth noting that pronouns and proper nouns do not require articles.

for more articles like this click here

Nouns and sub-classes of nouns

This should be a quick one? The essence of a noun is that it is a ‘naming word’.

However, as is the way with the English language, there are many categories and sub-categories within the categories of nouns. So, without further ado, let’s get into nouns. Fun fact: every sentence must have a subject, and the subject will be a noun.

Nouns can also be the verb of a sentence, just to confuse things. An object can either be an indirect or direct object. A direct object is a noun that receives the action from the subject. An indirect object is much rarer and is the recipient of a direct object.

Common nouns

Common nouns are nouns used to name a person, animal, place, thing or abstract idea. An abstract idea would be success, failure, delight, boredom etc.

There are two sub-categories of common nouns, concrete and abstract nouns.

Abstract nouns

Are names of something that has no physical existence, such as success, delight and failure.

Concrete nouns

Are used to name something you can sense with your senses – sight, smell, touch, sound, taste – e.g. chocolate, red, umami etc

All I have to say is why?

Proper nouns

Proper nouns are used to name a specific person, animal, place or thing. Christmas, Wednesday, John etc

Compound nouns

A compound noun as you may have guessed is a noun made up of more than one word; normally it is two nouns but could be an adjective to.

Science-fiction, level-cap, word-limit, truck-driver etc.

Collective nouns

A collective noun refers to a group or number of individuals, such as staff, team, jury, colony. Basically, there are loads, check this out for all animal related collective nouns.

The key point is that it is one noun that talks about many of the same.

An issue with the collective noun is that one can refer to a group acting together, or all the groups the members of a group acting as individuals.

There is much more to this subject and I am not the man for the job, here is a good resource

I will leave plural and singular nouns for another day.

Countable and non-countable nouns

A noun which is countable has two forms, one singular and on plural. For example, mountain and mountains. Non-countable nouns are those which only exist in the singular form.

non-countable nouns: air, food, sand, wisdom, stupidity etc.

Gender specific nouns

These seem to be on there way out as, and may be the least important sub-category. But they are nouns that are specific to a gender.

For example: King, Queen, Witch, Wizard, Waiter, Waitress.

My favourite category, and it is only my favourite as I think it is the strangest category.

Gerunds

A gerund is a noun that ends in ‘ing’ and represent actions.

A gerund is where nouns and verbs collide, creating a confusing classification of words.

For example, writing, watching, building.