Decades ago, I studied abroad in Moscow, in the Soviet Union. One day, my Russian friends and I were walking along at VDNkh and came across a billboard that read Выставка Прогресса Vystavka Progressa. One friend decided to translate the billboard: “The exhibition of the progress.”
“Uh, no,” I responded. “Just ‘the exhibition of progress.'”
“I don’t know.”
Native speakers of English usually have no trouble with the use of the definite article the or the indefinite article a/an, but we can’t always explain the rule for their use. And non-native speakers, especially ones whose native languages are like Russian and lack both definite and indefinite articles, often have a really hard time figuring out when to use them.
So, for the benefit of learners of English and native speakers alike, let’s explore how definite and indefinite articles in English are used.Continue reading “Definite and Indefinite Articles: How to Use “The” and “A””