Articles /Determiners


Lesson Planning of Articles /Determiners (Rules for use of “a”, “an” and “the” in Speech and Writing)

Subject English

Grade VI

Students` Learning Outcomes

  • Recall and apply rules for use of “a” and “an” in speech and writing.
  • Demonstrate use of Definite Article “the” when noun is particularized.

Information for Teachers

  • The words “a”, “an”, and “the’ are called article (Determiners). They come before nouns as;
  1. An apple (means to say any apple)
  2. A boat (means to say any boat)
  3. The book (means to say any book)

Kinds of Articles (Determiners)

  • These articles (Determiners) are divided into two kinds, as;
  •  “A” denotes a singular noun beginning with a consonant and is known as the Indefinite Article, as;
  1. A ball (means to say any ball)
  2. A pencil (means to say any pencil)
  3. A computer (means to say any computer)
  • “An” is used when the word begins with a vowel sound, as; an umbrella
  1. An owl (means to say any owl)
  2. An optician (means to say any optician)
  3. An octopus (means to say any octopus)
  4. An ant (means to say any ant)
  • “The’ is used when we refer to a specific object (noun). It is called the Definite Article, as;
  1. The books in the library (The Books means to say some particular books)
  2. The road in front of my house (The road mean to say any specific road)

Use of “a” and “an”:

  • Before a word, beginning with a vowel sound “an” is used, as;
  1. An apple
  2. An enemy
  3. An orange
  4. An ink-pot
  5. An umbrella,
  6. Etc.
  • It will be noticed that the words hour, honest, heir begin with a vowel sound, as the initial consonant ‘h’ is not pronounced, as;
  1. An hour
  2. An heir
  3. An honest man
  4. Etc.
  • Before a word beginning with a consonant sound ‘a’ is used, as;
  1. A boy
  2. A one rupee note
  3. A goat
  4. Etc.
  • It will be noticed that the words, which begins with a vowel but give a consonant sound, always take ‘a’ at their beginning, as;
  1. A European
  2. A union
  3. A university
  4. A useful thing
  5. Etc.

Use of “the”:

  • When a singular noun is meant to represent a whole class, as;
  1. The dog is a faithful animal.
  • Before some proper nouns e.g. the names of canals, rivers, seas, gulfs, groups of islands and mountain ranges, as;
  1. The Indus is the biggest rive of Pakistan.
  • Before the names of certain books, newspaper and magazines, as;
  1. Do you have the Family magazine?
  • Before superlatives degree of adjectives, as;
  1. Ali is the best student in his class.
  • Before the names of provinces and some countries, as;
  1. The Sindh
  2. The United Kingdom
  • Before the names of nations, as;
  1. The Hindus worship idols.
  • Before the title, when it is used without mentioning name, as;
  1. The Father of Nation
  • It is used after ‘both’ and ‘all’ and is used before ‘whole’, as;
  1. All the guests have gone.
  2. Both the boys are not good.
  3. The whole meal is stale.

With ordinal, as;

  1. Salma has got the second position.
  2. I can play the drum.
  • When two or more adjectives qualify the same noun, ‘the’ article is used before the first adjective only; but when they qualify different nouns, expressed or understood, ‘the’ article is normally used before adjective, as;
  1. The headmaster and the teacher are absent.
  2. The headmaster and teacher are absent.

The Omission of ‘Articles’:

  • ‘The’ is not used before proper nouns, as;
  1. My name is Sahrish Mehmood.
  2. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was our leader.
  • ‘The’ is not used before material nouns, as;
  1. This table is made of glass.
  2. I have a diamond ring.
  3. Iron is a very hard metal.
  • ‘The’ is not used before abstract nouns, as;
  1. Wrath is not good for health.
  • ‘The’ is not put before languages, as;
  1. I can speak Urdu, English and Saraiki.
  • ‘The’ is not used before the names of subjects and branches of knowledge, as;
  1. Saleem is an excellent student of Arts.
  2. There is no teacher of Chemistry.
  • ‘The’ is not used before the names of days, months or seasons, as;
  1. I want to thank you for coming to my birthday party on Sunday.
  • When the word ‘man’ represents the whole mankind, ‘the’ is not used before it, as;
  1. Man can err.
  2. Man is mortal.
  • Before names of relations, like father, mother, aunt, uncle, etc. as;
  1. Mother is cooking food.
  2. Uncle Kareem has died.


Material / Resources

Writing board, chalk/marker, duster, and textbook


  • Explain the rules to use definite and indefinite articles with the help of information given in the information for the teachers.



Activity 1


Conclusion / Sum up

Conclude the lesson by repeating all the main points of the lesson. 


  • Ask the students:
  1. What is the difference between the indefinite and Definite Articles?
  2. What at least five sentences using articles “a”, “an’ and ‘the’.
  3. When will an indefinite Article be changed to a Definite Article?

Follow up

  • Give the class five sets of words (pair of nouns) ass starters, as;
  1. Boy cycle
  2. Cat ball
  3. Girl doll
  4. Home car
  5. Cat tree
  • Ask one student to make a sentence using both the words (as given in the example).
  • Instruct them to use indefinite articles only.
  • Ask another student to make another sentence changing the Indefinite Article to Definite Article, as;
  1. I saw sitting under a tee.
  2. The cat was sitting comfortably under the tree.




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