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Practice with articles, demonstratives & other determiners



Ask yourself these questions when checking articles and demonstratives.

1. Should an indefinite article (‘a’ or ‘an’) be used?


Use "a" or "an" :


a. before singular count nouns when the noun is mentioned for the first time.

Your grandparents probably never attended a class called economies.


b. when the singular fonn is used to make a general statement about ail people or things of that type.

A producer makes the goods or provides the services that consumer s use.

(All producers make goods or provide services.)


c. in expressions of priee, speed, and ratio.

60 miles an hour

four times a day

50 pence a dozen

half a pound of tea / a halfpound oftea

a quarter of a pound of coffee / a quarter pound of coffee


"A" or "an" are not used:


d. before plural nouns.

Services are actions, such as haircutting, cleaning or teaching.


e. before non-count nouns.


A persan who makes lemonade and then sells it is producing goods.


2. Should the defïnite article "the" be used?


"The" is used:


a. before a noun that has already been mentioned:

If a company is a producer, the company сап produce only productsfor which it has the right kind of resources.

or when it is clear in the situation which thing or person is referred to:

A consistent overspending suggests that the budget should befollowed more closely.


b. before adjectives used as nouns:

The poor have to think hard about how to meet their needs for goods and services.


c. when there is only one of something, e.g. the sun, the earth, the world, the best car.


d. before some nationality words e.g. the English (the people of England), the Dutch (the people of Holland),...etc.

Note that these words ail end in -sh (the English), -ch (the French), or -ese (the Japanese).

With other nationalities we use a plural noun ending in -s with or without the (e.g.(the) Italians, (the) Germans).


e. with canals, deserts, forests, oceans, rivers, seas, and plural islands, lakes and mountains (the Suez Canal, the Black Forest, the Hawaiian Islands, the Atlantic Ocean).


f. when the name of a country, or state includes the word "of", the type of government, or a plural form.

The Republic oflreland The United Kingdom The Philippines


g. with the following states, cities, and places.

(the Ukraine, the Netherlands, the Argentine(but Argentina), the Vatican, the Crimea, the Caucasus, the Hague, the City (of London)


h. with the names of hotels, cinemas, museums, clubs, restaurants, pubs.

the Plaza Hotel the Odeon Cinema the Swan Restaurant

i. before names with of.


the Bank of England (but: Moscow Narodny Bank, or Mellon Bank) the University of London (but: London University)


j. with the names of newspapers and journals: The Times , The Washington Post.


"The" is not used with:


a. planets and singular islands, lakes, mountains, and parks:

Central Park Fiji Island Lake Baikal Mount Everest


b. the names of countries and states, continents and cities, streets:

(Japon, Russia, Africa, Chicago, Mexico City, Oxford Street)


3. Which article, if any, should be used?


a. The expression “a number of “ means “several “or “many and takes a plural verb.

The expression “the number of refers to a group and takes a singular verb.

A large number of producers suffer a loss when goods go bad.

The number of producers has fallen because of the economie crisis.


b. The following nouns do not always take an article:

prison school college church bed home court jail sea

car bus train plane the names of meals


Look at how the meaning changes:

Jack went to bed . ( - Jack went to sleep.-the general idea of sleep )

Jack went to the bed. (Jack walked over to a particular bed - the specifie object )

Jack bought a bed. (Jack purchased an object called a bed.)


c. Noncount nouns are used without an article to refer to something in general.

People settle into two major economie roles:consumer and producer.

Sometimes an article is used to show a specifie meaning.

A knowledge of economies is important to everyone now.


4. Are the demonstratives ("this","that","these","those") used cor-rectly?


a. The demonstratives are for objects nearby the speaker: this, these; and for objects far away from the speaker: that, those.


b. Demonstratives are the only adjectives that agree in number with their nouns.

This section will explain the basic questions.

These sections are concerned with the problems of economie decisions.


c. When there is the idea of selection, the pronoun "one" or "ones" often follows the demonstrative.

I need a job. I’ll get this(one).


If the demonstrative is followed by an adjective, "one", or "ones" must be used.

I need a job. I’ll get this part-lime one.


But:We do not usually say my one(s), your one(s), etc. Instead we say mine, yours....etc.

Your car isn't fast enough. Let's take mine.

But one(s) can be used with a possessive if there is an adjective.

Let's take your new one.


5. What should be used in front of abbreviations?


a. We make abbreviations with the first letters of the most important words. We than treat these abbreviations like ordinary nouns and use them with a/an, the or zero.

I've just bought a VCR. (-a Video Cassette Recorder)

We use an + vowel sound (an E.D.P. - Electronic Data Processing) and a + consonant sound (a VW = a Volkswagen)


b. We use a/an and full stops with titles: She is an M.A. (= Master of Arts)


c. We use the in front of institutions when we can't say them as single words. We don't use full stops:

I listen to the news on the BBC. (-the British Broadcasting Corporation)

We are members of UNESCO. (=the United Nations Educational, Scientific,and Cultural Organization)


Exercise 1

Write the correct article ("a","an", or"the"). If no article is needed, write "o".


  1. ..John Martin, ... Sales Manager is discussing ... article he has just read in ... Times newspaper about... recent discovery of oil in ... Abraca.

  2. I decided to compare my monthly expenses with .... expense chart of my friend.

  3. ...young, like everyone else, have unlimited wants and limited recourses.

  4. Ambrose Harper is ...old man, but he still cornes to ... office regularly to ... board meetings.

  5. ... number of irreplaceable documents were destroyed when ... cane wastepaper basket caught fire in ... government office.

  6. I’ve been thinking of that scheme of yours to sell our products to ... Netherlands. They say ... Dutch are going to raise their imports rapidly.

  7. I decided to convince my relative, ... clerk at ... Bank of Scotland, to lend me ... money to cover ... cost of my further education.

  8. ... number of sources of money you can rely upon is decreasing.

  9. A lot of goods are trans-shipped via ... Hague, which is more expensive.


Exercise 2

Choose the correct form, checking demonstratives.


  1. I was shocked by that / those news.

  2. There is ail this / these red tape involved in getting an import licence.

  3. A field survey shows why that / those specimen of goods is attractive.

  4. That / those economies courses offered at the university are very elementary.

  5. I know this / that manager оver there.

  6. This / these expenses are to be reduced with effective economie decisions.

  7. The consumers buy this / these cotton shirts more than these / those silk ones.

  8. Our expenses are much higher than your former one / ones.

  9. She presented him with the French watch, but he wanted the Swiss one / ones.

  10. Perishable goods can be stored less than non-perishable - / ones.


Exercise 3

Possessives usually replace articles before nouns. We can say the car or Peter's car, but not Peter's the car or the Peter's car. But a possessive word can have its own article: the boss's car. Note also: that car of Peter's, a friend of Peter 's (like a friend ofmine).

Put  for correct sentences; rewrite the incorrect ones.


  1. Is Peter the Grant' s nephew?

  2. Consumer goods are products, such as food, clothing, and cars, that satisfy people's economie needs or wants.

  3. Is this the manager's file?

  4. Do you know John's last name?

  5. Here is the Harper's address.

  6. The answers to the questions depend on a country's human, natural, and capital resources, and also on its customs and values.

  7. You also try to focus your partner's the attention on the difference between fixed, optional, flexible expenses.

  8. That overspending of John's reached the peak of 1.5% .

  9. What is the general relationship between a person's education and that individual's earning power?

  10. The consumer's desire for a commodity tends to diminish as he buys more units of it.

  11. What's the Wilsons' number?

  12. It's a crazy idea of John Martin.

  13. Where is that uncle of Peter?

  14. We can say that the utility of a commodity decreases as the consumer's stock of that commodity increases.


Exercise 4

Supply a/an, the or "-".


  1. Mr. Buckhurst is ... F.C.A.(=Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants).

  2. John got ... B.Sc. (=Bachelor of Science) from Durham University in 1988.

  3. Do you know how much ... MP (=Member of Parliament) earns?

  4. We studied ...BASIC (=Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) at the computer class.

  5. Does Ukraine belong to ... NATO (= North Atlantic Treaty Organization)?

  6. Modernizing a business requires a management team which is aware of ... O.R. (-Operational Research), ... D.C.F. (=Discounted Cash Flow a method of calculating the profitability of new plant and machinery), -... P.E.R.T. (Project Evaluation and Review Technique), etc.

  7. The shareholders are invited to attend ... A.G.M. (= the Annual General Meeting).

  8. ... NASA (=National Aeronautics and Space Administration) had a setbackin 1986.

  9. ... I.Q. is a common abbreviation for an Intelligence Quotient.

  10. ... EEC (=the European Economie Community) established common tariffs against products from non-EEC nations.

  11. ... GATT (=General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) encompassed 22 countries in 1947, later the group expanded to somewhat about 100 countries.


Exercise 5

Choose the article or demonstrative that is incorrect.


1. Goods that have to be trans-shipped via Netherlands turn to corne sooner than the other ones.

A В С D

2. When they go to college, young want to use their income effectively and learn to economise on every

A В С

twopence and to keep the budget thoroughly.

D

3. Those consumers, who drink tea four times in a day usually buy not less than a half pound of tea and often

A В С

of the best quality.

D

4. I do not know if there are any correspondent banks in the Ukraine to transfer money from our account

A В С

with Bank of England.

D

5. Producers like these are one pence a dozen, you'd better look for some other ones.

A В С D

6. Germans, Italians as well as Dutch use English to communicate.

A В C D

7. Milk belongs to the category of perishable goods, the shoes do not, as they can be stored for a long time

A В С D


without going bad.

8. A number of the rich among the Italians does not vary much from that among other nations.

A B C D


9. Nakamurasan is a Japanese. Having studied his preliminary desk research, the manager made a conclusion

A В

that Japanese are very elever people.

C D

10. Mr. Denis Stocks, a retired policeman, has justbeen given a B.Sc. for twelve years' research into an

A В С

ancient Egyptian industrial methods.

D
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