Articles: mistakes with THE and A

This page gives advice on how students can improve their use of articles

Another area where students make a lot of mistakes is in using ARTICLES - 'the' or 'a' or nothing at all! Generally the rules about articles are so difficult that teachers cannot explain them all, or if they did the students would have fallen asleep by the time they finished. (That's why teachers don't like doing articles in class!) You cannot learn about articles in a few minutes. It takes a long time. You need some awareness raising activities to help you think about nouns in general and what sort of nouns take articles. I have found a really good exercise on articles from the University of Southampton just here. It will take you some time to work through it. Get yourself a drink and a snack and settle down with a notebook. Turn off your mobile and give yourself a good hour or ninety minutes to work slowly through this interactive exercise. I am sure that by the end of it you will have a better understanding of articles.

The other exercises in the EAP toolkit from Southampton University are not available because you have to pay to use them. This exercise is a freebie, just to show us how good the exercises are. Well, the exercise is good but this blog is about showing you good resources for free on the Internet so we will never know about the other exercises!

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