The article is the structural word, specifying the noun.
2 articles in English: definite and indefinite.
Sometimes the use of the articles can’t be accounted by the rules – a matter of tradition:
at night-in the night, as a result of – under the influence of, to be in a rage, to take care of., etc.
The use of articles: grammatical and traditional. The grammatical use of articles depends on the character of the noun.
common nouns↓ →countable nouns: concrete and abstract.
proper nouns. uncountable nouns: concrete and abstract.
The functions of articles with common nouns.
The Indefinite Article.
the wish to name the object: a thing, a person, an apple (the nominating function).
The indefinite article always represents the idea of oneness and is used only before nouns in singular:
a hundred, a thousand, a minute, a mile.
after the negative: not a word, not a thought.
in some set-phrases: one at a time, at a draught.
The indefinite article is often used to introduce a new element (stress – on it) in the sentence. The definite article usually indicates that a definite object is meant and that is not new to the hearer (the noun is not the centre of communication).
With uncountable nouns, the indefinite article represents a special aspect of the notion – aspective function. In this case the noun is usually qualified by an attribute.
The Definite Article.
With countable nouns:
with singular or plural nouns to show that the noun denotes a particular object or a group of objects as distinct from the others – to single out object from all the others – the individualizing function.
with nouns in the singular it indicates that the noun becomes an image of the class – the generic function.
with uncountable nouns – restricting function: the definite article restricts the material denoted by a concrete uncountable noun to a definite quantity, portion etc.
The Zero Article.
The nominating function: with countable nouns in the plural. It implies “more-than-oneness” and with uncountable nouns, both abstract and concrete.
The use of articles with countable nouns.
Countable nouns in the singular may be used:
with the indefinite article in its nominating function.
with the definite article in its individualizing function.
In the plural:
with the zero article in the nominating function;
with the definite article in the individualizing function.
Attributes, which modify the nouns are divided into 2 classes: limiting and descriptive .
Limiting: indicate such a quality or characteristic of an object which makes it distinct from other objects(with the definite article).
Descriptive: is used to describe an object (definite and indefinite articles).
The use of articles with countable nouns modified by adjectives.
Attributes expressed by an adjectives are usually descriptive. They do not affect the choice of the articles. The use of the definite article in this case is accounted for by the situation but not by the attribute. Adjectives may become limiting attributes when there is some contrast in the notion. Adjectives in the superlative degree are always limiting attributes. Some adjectives, adjective pronouns and adjectivized ing-forms always serve as limiting attributes:
right – wrong, very, only, main, principal, central, left, coming, following, former, latter, proper, adjacent, alleged, lower, necessary, opposite, polite, previous, upper, usual.
The use of articles with countable nouns modified by numerals.
cardinal numerals serve as descriptive attributes; (three, two, five). If a noun modified by a cardinal numeral is used with the definite article – this is accounted by the context.
ordinal numerals are usually limiting attributes. But? When ordinal numerals are not used to indicate order but acquire the meaning ‘one more’, ‘another’ – the noun they modify is used with the indefinite article.
But! A first night, a first prize.
The use of articles with countable nouns modified by participles.
Attributes expressed by participles are placed either in pre- or post-position to the noun the modify. When they are placed in pre-position, they are usually descriptive attributes, like adjectives (the use depends on the context). In post-position they may be either descriptive or limiting attributes.
The use of articles with countable nouns modified by ing-forms.
Pre- or post-position. Pre-: descriptive or limiting (depends on the context).
The use of articles with countable nouns modified by infinitives.
Attributes expressed by infinitives tend to be descriptive. Sometimes, depending on the context the infinitive may become a limiting attribute.
The use of articles with countable nouns modified by clauses.
Nouns can be modified by 2 kinds of clauses – attributive and appositive (приложение).
They may be introduced by the relative pronouns: who, whose, which, that; and relative adverbs: where, when and asyndetically.
There are 2 types of attributive clauses:
attributive clauses that can be removed from the sentence without destroying its meaning. These clauses are never joined to the principal clause asyndetically. They are called non-defining clauses, they are descriptive and do not influence the choice of the article.
attributive clauses closely connected with the antecedent (предыдущий член предложения) –they can’t be left without destroying the meaning of the sentence. Such clauses can be joined to the principal clause asyndetically or by connective words. They are called defining clauses. They can be limiting or descriptive. Limiting – the definite article. Descriptive – the choice of the article depends on the situation (antecedent in Russian: такой, который, такого рода).
They disclose the meaning of the noun. They can modify only certain abstract nouns: idea, feeling, hope, thought, impression, sense. These clauses are usually introduces by the conjunction that and are similar to object clauses. Such clauses are usually limiting attributes.
The use of articles with countable nouns modified by nouns in the common case.
Attributes expressed by nouns in the common case are usually descriptive. Sometimes they may serve as limiting attributes. In this case the attribute expressed by a proper name and serves to show that reference is made to a particular object.
The use of articles with countable nouns modified by nouns in the genitive case.
There are 2 kinds of genitive case:
the specifying genitive: - denoted a particular person or thing: my mother’s book, my son’s toy. In this case article refers to the noun in the genitive case and is chosen in accordance with the general rules.
the classifying (descriptive) genitive: which refers to a whole class of objects: sheep’s eyes, mile’s distance. In this case article refers to the head-noun whereas the noun in the genitive case serves as a descriptive attribute. As the article refers to the head-noun, the noun in the genitive case may have the plural form and be preceded by the indefinite article.
The use of articles with countable nouns modified by prepositional phrases.
Attributes may be expressed by nouns with various prepositions. They may be either descriptive or limiting. Here of-phrases may be as descriptive and limiting attributes. Descriptive of-phrases are recognized by clear-cut meanings:
quantity or measure
Nouns modified by descriptive of-phrases usually take the indefinite article. But sometimes – definite. All other of-phrases are limiting- the head-noun is used with definite article. The choice of the article may depend on the following:
if the head-noun denotes an object which is only a bearer of the property – the definite article is used;
if there are many objects of the same description – the indefinite article is used;
a definite number of component parts – a definite article is used.
The use of the definite article with countable nouns.
There are some traditional cases of the use of the definite article:
it is used with reference to objects that surround the speaker. This rule can be applied only to the limiting number of nouns:
A bee buzzed among the flowers.
- the definite article is used to denote object that are usually found in a particular place:
The old man walked slowly.
The generic function of the definite article.
A singular countable noun with a definite article may represent a whole class of objects, becoming a composite image of that class. A noun in this function is called a generic singular:
The cuckoo is a lazy bird. The rose is a wonderful flower.
But sometimes the indefinite article may be used here in its nominating function:
A rose is a wonderful flower.
Speaking about plural form of the nouns it should be mentioned that the zero article is used in this case:
Roses are wonderful flowers.
The generic article is always found with collective nouns denoting social groups and classes. Here the article serves to emphasize the idea of collectivity.
With other nouns, the use of the generic singular is restricted in 2 ways:
only a semantically limited group of nouns appear to be used generically;
generic singulars are mainly characteristic of scientific and literary prose.
The definite article is used with generic plurals but it is found only when the idea of collectivity is definitely emphasized:
The Tories will not lift a finger to help the workers.
But when individual representatives are meant, the article is not used:
Italians are often good singers.
The same generic use of the definite article is found with substantivized adjectives: the blind, the poor, the rich, the young, the old; and with names of nationalities: the British, the French, the Japanese. But when individual representatives are meant, a noun should be added:
The rich get richer. The old woman was helpless.
The use of articles with countable nouns in some syntactic patterns.
In some syntactic patterns there are certain peculiarities in the use of articles. This refers to the use of articles in the function of predicative or ap"; line-height: 150%"> nouns used predicatively or in apposition take the indefinite article in its nominating function. Nouns in plural have no article in this case.
a noun used in apposition is used with the definite article in case when the hearer knows the person in question.
nouns used predicatively or in apposition may be used without any article in the following cases:
when they denote a position which is unique:
when they denote a relationship and stress is laid on the social position of the person expressed by the subject;
when noun denote a certain characteristic of a person. In this case the noun is followed by enough: She is woman enough to understand it.
When predicative nouns are used in clauses of concession with inverted word-order.
In English there are a number of verbs which in the Active Voice require the use of nouns as objective predicatives and in the Passive Voice – as subjective predicatives. These are the following verbs: to appoint, to call, to choose, to elect, to fancy, to imagine, to make, to name, to think.
When nouns denoting titles, military ranks, social standing are followed by a proper name they are used without any articles:
Colonel Holmes, Doctor Smith, Sir William.
But a foreign title followed by a proper name is used with the definite article:
The Baron Munchausen, the Tsar Peter the Great.
The article is not used with some nouns denoting close relationships when they are followed by names of persons:
Cousin John, Uncle Timothy.
Other common nouns, when followed by proper names, are used with the definite article:
the geologist Foster, the dog Baltasar.
The article is not used with nouns in appositive of-phrases when the head-noun denotes a title or a post:
He got the degree of Master of Arts.
The article is not in adverbial pattern from – to, in which the same noun is repeated after the prepositions as in:
from tree to tree, from street to street.
But: hand in hand, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder.
There is no article with nouns in direct stress:
‘How is my wife, doctor?’
After the exclamation what the indefinite article is used with the nouns in singular.
The definite article is found within an of-phrase preceded by one, some, any, each, many, most, all, several: one of the letters, several of the boys. There is a fluctuation in the use of the articles in the following combinations: a sort of (a) man, what sort of (a) man, this sort of (a) man, that sort of (a) man.
The Use of Articles with Uncountable nouns.
Abstract nouns, like concrete nouns, can be of 2 classes: countable and countable.
Countable nouns may be used in the singular and in the plural. Uncountable abstract nouns are used only in the singular. Sometimes it is difficult to draw a line between countable and uncountable nouns. Some abstract nouns are used as countables in one meaning and as uncountables in another. There are also a number of abstract nouns which appear both as uncountables and countables without any noticeable change of meaning:
change, difficulty, language, profit, torture, trouble etc.
Some of the nouns that generally tend to be uncountables are in certain constructions regularly used with the indefinite article. Here belong comfort, disgrace, pity, pleasure, relief etc. They are found with the indefinite article when they are used as predicatives after a formal it as a subject or after the exclamatory what.
The use of articles with countable abstract nouns doesn’t differ from their use with countable concrete nouns.
Generally, uncountable abstract nouns are used without any article. The absence of the article performs the nominating function in this case.
The definite article is used with uncountable nouns when they are modified by a limiting attribute. The definite article is used here in its restricting function to denote a particular instance for the notion expressed by the noun. The definite article is also found with substantivized adjectives denoting abstract notions:
the unusual, the normal, the unknown, the grotesque.
The indefinite article is used with uncountable abstract nouns when they are modified by a descriptive attribute which brings out a special aspect of the notion expressed by the noun. The attribute may be expressed in different ways. The indefinite article is used here in its aspective function. This use of the indefinite article is typical of literary style.
Sometimes an uncountable abstract nouns are used with an attribute but has no article. It can be explained a) by the nature of the attribute and b) by the nature of the noun.
in some cases the attribute does not bring out a special aspect of the notion expressed by the noun. The attribute may express degree, quality of the noun, nationality, geography, authenticity (подлинность);
some nouns are never used with the indefinite article, they are nouns of verbal character denoting actions, activity, process.
Sometimes the use of the articles with an uncountable abstract nouns is affected by the syntactic function of the noun.
Nouns in attributive and adverbial prepositional phrases of manner have no article even if they have descriptive attributes. Attributive prepositional phrases are introduced by the preposition of. Adverbial prepositional phrases – by the preposition with, sometimes in.
Sometimes even countable nouns have no article in these functions.
Although the general tendency is to use abstract uncountable nouns in attributive and adverbial prepositional phrases without articles, occasionally either the definite or the indefinite article may be found. The use of the definite article is generally associated with the use of limiting attributes modifying the noun. The use of the indefinite article appears to be optional – it may depend on the speaker’s desire to lay particular stress on the special aspect expressed by the attribute modifying the noun. But the use of the indefinite article is obligatory in some cases. It is always used in prepositional phrases in which the noun is modified either by the adjectives certain, peculiar or by an attributive clause.
There is a tendency to use an uncountable abstract noun in the function of predicative without any article even if the noun has a descriptive attribute. Prepositional phrases in the function of a predicative are usually set phrases:
to be in despair, to be of importance, to be out of control, to be in a rage etc.
|Включите уведомления прямо сейчас и мы сразу сообщим Вам о важных новостях. Не волнуйтесь, мы будем отправлять только самое главное.|