Anyone interested to teach me articles 😢

My boyfriend is in a band.
My kid goes to school. (Why no article?)

You’re the only one I love ( why no an :no_good: )

She likes to sleep on the bed.
She likes to read books. (Why no article? )

:girl: :gun: :bookmark:

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You always use a if the next word starts with a vowel. You use an if the next word starts with a consonant.

I honestly don’t know about ‘the’. Maybe because bed is singular and books are plural?

This is my native language so I just treat it like an over enthusiastic puppy. Why did you shred your rug? Why did you poop in your doghouse? So many questions but that’s just the way things are.

One girl I went to high school with who was from a different country said life got easier when she just memorized greetings (like hey how are you doing, I’m good how are you?, I’m doing pretty good, etc) instead of trying to respond to them consciously. Another friend told me she doesn’t understand English as well as most people thinks she does because she just doesn’t ask questions, she just goes with it.

English just sees grammar and words it likes from other languages and adopts them for no reason which is why it sounds like such a mix match. It IS a mix and match of a ton of other things.

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Yeah but when I “mix and match” I create a monster sentence. :smile:

Yeah, that’s a tough one to explain. This may help.

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I know about vowels/consonants thing.
But I can’t get where you use an article and where it shouldn’t be.

Just say it in a cute accent. Americans love people with accents. I don’t know why but we do. I don’t always mean sexually either.

I had a teacher who was form Poland for astronomy one time. She was always apologizing for her accent but it was sooooooooo cuuuuuuuute. Like if a toy could talk. She was about 60 and she would have looked just like any 60 year old American would but she was adorable from the time she opened her mouth.

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Where would you think the “an” should go?

That’s a lot easier than learning a grammar. : )

@animalchin. According to consonant/vowel rule why not an only ?

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I bet these are all going to be situational.

“goes to school” is more about the occupation of being educated, like adults “go to work”. If you are referring to a very specific school, you could use “the” or “a” - My kid goes to the school down the street, my kid goes to a school in Split.

In the second example, “the” is referring to a specific, singular thing. “You are the one I love (there are no others)”. If you used a, it would imply the person you were speaking to was one of several. “a one” sounds odd, but I couldn’t tell you exactly why. we’d say, You are a person I love/You are someone I love/You are one of the ones I love. “You are the only one I love” is correct.

“She likes to sleep on the bed” means there is a specific one she likes. If she just prefers beds to stones, the floor, hot coals, sleeping in trees, you could say “She likes to sleep on beds (any bed).”

“She likes to read books” again is nonspecific. If there were a book about horses that she likes to read and your listener knew which one you meant, you could say, “She likes to read the book before bed.”

A/an = indefinite, not referring to a specific, previously known thing
The = definite, referring to something very specific.

This is harder to explain than I expected! You’ll get a feel for it, and if you slip up, English speakers will understand you and most likely find it charming.


Really the sentences other than the one i mentioned can use an article and still be grammatically correct.

Right?! You are doing pretty well though.


Thanks :kissing:

Yeah its more about an(?)absence of articles that bothers me.

I would rather be grammatically correct than grammatically cute :imp:

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You should sleep.

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:smile_cat: You do pretty well.

In general, indefinite plurals don’t take an article. I like apples, I read books, I look for shoes online. Definite plurals take “the”. I like the apples Mom brought from the orchard, I read the economic books my professor assigned last week, I bought the shoes I showed you yesterday.

You just got unlucky with “goes to school”, I think. It’s a construction that doesn’t follow normal rules. We seem to use it for general occupations - she goes to school, she goes to work, she goes to camp in the summer, she goes to yoga on Wednesdays. In none of these would you necessarily know which school, what her job is, which camp, which yoga class. The idea of what she is doing is more important than where she is doing it.

I got up to go to the bathroom and saw your question. “This can’t wait until morning!” I thought.


I think the type of noun in the sentence determines if there is an article or not and what that article will be.

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English is my native tounge, but damn if I know much about those articles.
Wish I could help…


Sometimes we say my boyfriend is in band. (takes band as a subjecct in school) But sometimes we say he’s in a band (one among many)

You could say she likes to sleep on A bed. (if for example you had said all her friends liked to sleep on A fouton.)

THE only one I love says you only love one person. Although you could say you’re A person I really love. And yeah the consonant rule says you would say a person but you would say an animal.

This stuff is all mixed up according to context in our minds rather than based on rule-following so I guess you can just learn as you go too. The amazing thing is that native speakers learn all this stuff by the time they are three or four I think.

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She got it backwards. It’s supposed to be an before a word that begins with a vowel, and a before a word that begins with a consonate.

That’s a good point you bring up about articles - not so much why it is “a” or “the”, but why there are any articles at all. I know that articles function like a noun marker, but why we mark some nouns with them and don’t others I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it. Ironically, I think articles make a noun less specific. “My boyfriend is in a band” is less specific than “My boyfriend is in band”. The “a” article makes the word “band” mean any band. Maybe the use of articles has to do with specificity.

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