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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #5354: A/ an and the
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: Articles [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - A/an - 'The' or nothing? - Countable nouns with a/an and some - Article The and geography - THE or NOTHING? - Article A or AN - Article 'the' / nothing - Articles a-an-the-Ø
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    A/ an and the

    A/ an and the


    Compare a and the in these examples:


    A man and a woman were sitting opposite me. The man was American but I think the woman was British.

    • When we were on holiday, we stayed at a hotel. Sometimes we had our evening meal at the hotel and sometimes we went to a restaurant.


    We use the when we are thinking of one particular thing. Compare a/an and the:

    • Tom sat down on a chair, (perhaps one of many chairs in the room)

    but Tom sat down on the chair nearest. (a particular chair)

    • Ann is looking for a job. (not a particular job)

    but Did Ann get the job she applied for? (a particular job)

    • Have you got a car? (not a particular car)

    but I cleaned the car yesterday. (= my car)


    We use the when it is clear in the situation which thing or person we mean. For example, in a room we talk about 'the light / the floor / the ceiling / the door / the carpet' etc.:

    • Can you turn off the light, please? (= the light in this room)

    • I took a taxi to the station. (= the station in that town)

    • I’d like to speak to the manager, please. (= the manager of this shop etc.)

    In the same way, we say (go to) the bank, the post office:


    • I must go to the bank to get some money and then I'm going to the post office to get some stamps. (The speaker is usually thinking of a particular bank or post office.)


    Also: the doctor, the dentist:

    • Carol isn't very well. She's gone to the doctor. (= her usual doctor)

    • I hate going to the dentist.
    Compare a:

    • Is there a bank near here?       

    • My sister is a dentist.

    Don't forget the:

       Susan works in the city centre, (not 'in city centre')

    • My brother is in the army, (not 'in army')

    We say 'once a week / three times a day / £1.20 a kilo' etc.:

    • How often do you go to the cinema?' About once a month.'

       'How much are those potatoes?' £1.20 a kilo.'

    Put in a/an or the


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    English exercise "A/ an and the" created by felin with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from felin]
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    1. a) This house is very nice. Has it got garden?

    2. b) It's a beautiful day. Let's sit in garden

    3. c) I like living in this house but it's a pity that garden is so small.

    4. a) Can you recommend good restaurant?

    5. b) We had dinner in very nice restaurant.

    6. c) We had dinner in most expensive restaurant in town.

    7. a) She has French name but in fact she's English, not French.

    8. b) What's name of that man we met yesterday?

    9. c) We stayed at a very nice hotel - I can't remember name now.

    10. a) There isn't airport near where I live. The nearest airport is 70 miles away,

    11. b) Our plane was delayed. We had to wait at airport for three hours.

    12. c) Excuse me, please. Can you tell me how to get to airport?

    13. a) Are you going away next week?' No, week after next.'

    14. b) I'm going away for week in September.

    15. c) George has a part-time job. He works three mornings week.

    End of the free exercise to learn English: A/ an and the
    A free English exercise to learn English.
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