What are Article Adjectives? Meaning and Examples

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Articles are words that are used to combine nouns and they typically describe the nouns that they precede. There are only three articles the, a and an. However, these three articles cannot be used interchangeably. Rather, they are used in English grammar in specific instances. On the other hand, adjectives are words that modify nouns or pronouns. Article adjectives are an integral part of English grammar, however, there are certain rules to using articles with adjectives. The blog article below will give details about when to use an article with an adjective. 

What are Article Adjectives?

The article adjectives are simply referred to as articles and are words that define a noun as specific or unspecific. There are mainly two types of articles, definite and indefinite articles. 

The definite article the is used before adjectives modifying specific nouns. Specific nouns can be referred to as a particular place, thing, person etc. 

The indefinite article a or an before adjectives modifies non-specific nouns. Non-specific can be referred to as any person, place, thing or any idea in general. 

Also Read: History of English Literature

Use of Article with Adjectives

Usually, when an adjective modifies a noun it goes in front of the noun. In some cases, you have to use an article with an adjective. However, the use of articles with adjectives depends on whether the adjective is modifying a specific or non-specific noun. 

Also Read: Abstract Nouns: Definition, Examples and Usage

When to Use an Article with an Adjective?

There are three types of articles, a, an and the. When to Use “the”:

  • Use “the” before specific nouns. A specific noun refers to a particular or well-known person, place, thing, or idea.

Example: I would like to have the pizza that you made.

When to Use “a” or “an“: 

  • Use “a” or “an” before non-specific nouns. A non-specific noun refers to any person, place, thing, or idea in general.

Example: I met a new friend at the party.

Exceptions Using Article with Adjectives

There are a few exceptions to the rules for using articles with adjectives. For example, you do not use an article before plural nouns, even if they are specific. 

I saw the dogs in the park.

You also do not use an article before proper nouns, which are the names of people, places, and things.

I saw John in the park.

Also Read: Active and Passive Voice Rules for All Tenses [PDF Available]

Exercises for Article with Adjectives

Exercise 1: Choose the Correct Article

Fill in the blanks with either “a,” “an,” or “the” based on the context.

  • I saw ___ interesting movie yesterday.
  • She has ___ apple and ___ orange in her bag.
  • My friend has ___ new car.
  • We need ___ umbrella if it rains.
  • This is ___ book I was telling you about.

Answers to above questions: 

  • I saw an interesting movie yesterday.
  • She has an apple and an orange in her bag.
  • My friend has a new car.
  • We need an umbrella if it rains.
  • This is the book I was telling you about.

Exercise 2: Omit or Add Articles

  • He is ___ doctor.
  • I have ___ idea about this.
  • Can I have ___ glass of water, please?
  • I want to be ___ astronaut.
  • She is ___ teacher at ___ university.

Answers to above questions: 

  • He is a doctor.
  • I have no idea about this.
  • Can I have a glass of water, please?
  • I want to be an astronaut.
  • She is a teacher at a university.


What is the purpose of articles in English?

Articles help specify whether a noun is definite or indefinite. They indicate whether we are referring to a particular item or any item of a given type.

When do I use “a” vs. “an”?

Use “a” before words that begin with a consonant sound, and “an” before words that begin with a vowel sound. The choice is based on the sound, not necessarily the actual first letter.

Can I use “the” with a singular countable noun for the first mention of something?

Yes, if the context makes it clear which specific thing you are referring to or if there is only one possible referent.

Hopefully, this blog was able to help you get a better understanding of Article Adjectives. If you want to improve your grammar for English Proficiency Tests such as SAT, IELTS and GMAT, check the courses at Leverage Live

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