Articles and/or ‘s’

WARNING to lazy students!
This post includes tricky grammar rules and there’s a challenging practice activity for you to try at the end!

Articles and nouns

For every noun you speak or write, you need to use grammar to communicate one of the meanings in the ‘meaning’ column in the table below.When you’re trying to decide which article to use, and whether or not to add ‘s’, you must first of all decide:

  1. What meaning do I want to communicate?
  2. Is the noun countable or uncountable?
  3. If it’s countable is it singular or plural?

Then you can choose an article and add ‘s’ accordingly.

meaning singular plural
countable all of them everywhere add ‘s’
one of many1 a(n) add ‘s’
this one exactly2 the the + add ‘s’
uncountable all of it everywhere no article
some of much no article3
this exactly the
  1. Plural: ‘some of many’ – often with a different determiner, for example ‘several’, ‘various’, ‘certain’, ‘a number of’
  2. Plural: ‘these exactly’
  3. A determiner other than an article might be appropriate, for example ‘some’.

Practice

Instructions

All articles and plural ‘s’ have been removed from the text below. Add articles and ‘s’ into the text where you think they should appear, then click ‘Compare with original!’ for answers and analysis.

2 comments on “Articles and/or ‘s’

  • Svetlana Alexa Asgharian says:

    Dear Pak Guru 🙂

    Thank you for this post.

    I have a question regarding noun “profile”, can we use it in plural?
    ” Having too little information in online profiles”

    Thank you.

    Svetlana

    Reply
    • mm

      Hi Svetlana!

      You can indeed use profile in the plural (without an article)!

      It’s not clear whether the writer is talking about ‘one of many’ profiles, or ‘all of them, everywhere. But in this example it doesn’t really matter. Both make sense and so both are ‘correct’ in terms of grammar AND meaning.

      Thanks for pointing out the ambiguity! And nice to see Sweden popping up in the site stats 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>