• We can`t but love flowers. (Generalization with plural)
  • I can smell smoke here. (Uncountable Noun)
  • The articles are not generally used:


Rule#1:Before generalization with plural or uncountable nouns:

Birds can fly in the sky.

Note: But we use ‘the’ when we talk about specific things or people. Compare these sentences:

(a)    Flowers really add beauty to ma room. (No article is used before ‘flowers’ in general.)

(b)   The flowers you bought me are lovely.(‘The’ is used before particular flowers).

Rule #2: Before Proper Nouns:

Karachi is the city of joy though there are many sufferings.

Islam Abad is the capital of Pakistan for 60 years old.

Shakespeare is a great Dramatist.

Note: when the article is used before a proper noun, it becomes a common noun: A Shakespeare (= a dramatist) can`t be a Newton. (= a scientist).

Rule #3:       Before Material Nouns:

Gold is a precious metal.

Iron and steel are useful metals.

Coal is black but very useful to us.

Cotton grows in Pakistan, Egypt and America.

Note: ‘The’ is used before a Material Noun when it is particularly referred:

The coal of Quetta burns well.


Rule #4:  Before Abstract Nouns:

Health is wealth.

Honesty is the best policy.

Kindness is a great virtue.

Note: ‘The’ is used before an Abstract Noun when it is specified:

The kindness of Fatima has become a byword.

An article is used before an Abstract Noun when it is preceded by an Adjective:

Death is preferable to dishonor. (But) he died a peaceful death.

What is the cause of the accident? (But) he met with a serious accident.

Rule #5:Before a common noun preceded by the phrases—kind of, sort of, species of—in interrogative sentences:

What kind of flower is it?                                             [Interrogative]

What kind of / sort of man is he?                                 [Interrogative]

What species of mosquito is anopheles?                          [Interrogative]

But we say, Malaria is caused by a species of mosquito. [Assertive]

The rose is a kind of flower.                                             [Assertive]

Rule #6: Before school, college, church, bed, mosque, hospital, market, prison—when these places are visited or used for their primary purpose:

We go to school/college.                                                   [To learn]

Someone goes to mosque.                                                [To pray]

Someone goes to bed.                                                       [To sleep]

Someone goes to market.                                                  [To sell or buy]

Someone goes to prison.                                                   [As a punishment]

Someone goes to hospital.                                                [For treatment]

But when these places are visited or used for any other purpose ‘the’ article is used:

I went to the school to see the Headmaster.

He went to the hospital to see his uncle.

The bed is too dirty to use.

Rule #7:Before man or woman in the sense of mankind and before father, mother, uncle, aunt, or baby when it expresses our father, our mother, our uncle, our aunt, our baby etc.:

Man is mortal.

Man and woman should go side by side.

Father is hungry.

Mother is angry.

Baby is crying.

Uncle is coming.

Aunt is cooking.

Note: However, in present-day English a man and a woman or men and women are more useful in general sense, e.g. a woman is more sensitive than a man. Or women are more sensitive than men.


Rule #8:  Before ‘home’ when it means the home of the speaker, or the person spoken to:

Go home.                                         [Here ‘home’ is used as an Adverb]

Stay at home.                                   [Here ‘home’ is used as a Noun]

But, ‘when home is followed by a descriptive phrase or clause, ‘the’ is necessary.”

He returned to the home where he had been so happy.

She was married in the home of her grandparents.

Rule #9:  Before the names of games and meals:

We like to play hockey/cricket/football/tennis/badminton, etc.

We have dinner/breakfast at usual time.

Rule #10:Before names of seasons and festivals:


[But, this rule is exception in the rainy seasons]:

 Summer is the best time for picnic.

The first time I went to Murree was the summer.

Similarly festivals as: new year`s day, charisma’s etc.

Rule#11:Before the names of squares, buildings, parks, streets, avenues, etc.:

Buckingham places, Curzon Park, College Street, Quaid-A-Azam Avenue

Rule #12:Before the words ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ if they are followed by the name of King or Queen and before little when they are used in apposition to Noun:

King Akbar, Queen Noor Jhan, King George VIII, Queen Victoria

Mr. Khalid Mahmud principal of our school is a well-known figure.

Rule #13: Before Complement of a Transitive Verb:

They made him president.

He was elected Chairperson of the union council.

Mr. Ali became principal of our school.


Rule #14: In certain phrases consisting of a transitive Verb followed by its Object:

To catch fire

To take root

To give ear

To cast anchor

To set sail

To loose heart

To take offence


Rule#15:In certain phrases consisting of a preposition followed by its object:

At home

At dinner

At ease

At dawn

At daybreak

At sunrise

At sunset

At noon

At night

By day

By night

By name

By land

By water

By river

By air

By ground

From hand to mouth




Rule #1:When two or more nouns or adjectives refer to different persons or things, ‘the’, ’an’, ‘a’ article are used before each noun or adjective:

The headmaster and the Secretary are coming. (Two different persons)

He had a black and a white cat. (Two different cats)

Give me a red and a blue pencil. (Two different pencil)

Rule #2:When two or more nouns or adjectives refer to the same person or thing. ‘the’, ’an’, ‘a’ article are used before the first noun or adjective:

The headmaster and Secretary are coming. (One person)

He had a black and white cat.                      (One cat)

Give me a red-and-blue pencil.                    (One pencil)

Rule #3: In a comparison, if two nouns refer to different persons or things, ‘the’, ‘an’, and ‘a’ articles are used with each noun. Otherwise not:

He is a better statesman than a philosopher. (Compare with different entity)

He is a better statesman than philosopher. (Two qualities in the same person)

Rule #4:       Before Comparatives as Adverbs:

The sooner, the better



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