SOME RULES USING ARTICLES:
1. Singular count nouns:
Indefinite: use 'a' or “an”
Definite: use "the"
I went to see a doctor (any doctor)
I went to see the doctor ( particular doctor, family doctor)
2. Plural count nouns:
Use "the" or Nothing, never 'a'.
Come and look at the children. (definite)
Children are always curious. (indefinite)
3. Non-count nouns:
Use "the" or nothing.
The medicine the doctor prescribed had unpleasant side effects.
DEFINITE ARTICLE “THE' USAGE
1. Adjectives as Nouns
When referring to a group of people by use of an adjective rather than a noun, use "the".
2. Names of Countries
Some countries are preceded by "the", usually if the name is plural, contains an adjective, or includes "of".
The United States
The Soviet Union
The Republic of Congo
3. Cities and Streets use nothing
4. Rivers, Oceans, Seas, Groups of Mountains & Islands use "the"
5. Ordinal numbers (1st,2nd,3rd) use "the"
The Second World War
the seventh page
6. Titles of People
When a title is used without a name, use "the"
7. Unique Objects - Use THE
the human race
8. Part of a larger group, Use THE
One of the students
None of the students
OMISSION OF AN ARTICLES
The articles are not used:
1. Before proper, material and abstract nouns used in a general sense:
India, gold, rice, honesty, virtue, Japan etc.
Note: But we say, the United States, the United Arab Emirates etc.
2. Before a common noun used in its commonest sense:
Iron is a useful metal.
3. In certain phrases made up of a preposition + noun:
Examples are: at home, in bed, by train, by car, in debt, in hand, on earth, at noon, on board, in jest, at best, at worst etc.
4. In certain phrases consisting of a transitive verb and its object:
Catch fire, take offence, leave office, leave home, leave office, Give ear, set sail, take heart, send word, etc.
5. Before the names of continents, countries, capes, cities, towns, days, months, arts, languages, sciences, some diseases etc.
January, March, physics, English, Tokyo, Beijing, Delhi, Tuesday, Friday, Asia, America etc.
6. Before common nouns when they go in pairs:
Both brother and sister are hardworking.
7. Before plural nouns used to denote a class:
Apples are red.
Camels are useful animals.
8. Before the nouns following kind of:
What kind of flower is it? (NOT What kind of a flower is it?)
9. Before meal-time
He was at Breakfast.
Breakfast was served at night. (BUT NOT The breakfast was served at night.)