Rob and Ashlie talk about the little words which cause so much trouble: articles!

Watch the video. Then go to Task and do the activities.

Task 1

Use a, an, or 0 (no article) to complete the sentences.


Task 2

Use the definite (the) or indefinite article (a) to finish the sentences.


Task 3

Match the questions with the answers using I guess.



Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


I have a question. Do I need to put an article before the word "very" in the following sentence: CloudSim is very useful tool for simulating? If an article is to be used, should it be article "a"? Thanks a lot.

Thank you Kirk for the reply. I am really doubtful about what article to use or if there is a need to use an article most of the time in a sentence. Thanks for this website that I accidentally discover while looking for rules in article usage.

Hello jesiel18,

Yes, that's correct -- you should use the article 'a' before 'very useful tool'. Good work!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello!) I have some questions:
I had a long chat with Paula on the phone yesterday evening. (Why "a"?)
Hello! Come in. Did you have a good day at work? (Why "a"?)

Hello Allessya,

In each case the reference is to one of many possible examples. The speaker in the first sentence presumably has many chats and the question is about whether this was one of the good ones or not - the adjective 'long' does not change this.

The same thing is true of the second example. People have good days and bad days at work; this is a question asking if this was one of the former.

Note that if the conversation continues about the chat or the day then the speakers would switch to 'the' rather than 'a', as they would then be talking about a specific example - the article use known as 'second mention'.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter M,
Thank you so much for your explanation!
Have a nice day!

Hello. I have a question about articles, and how apply them right, after of and in.

Hello gigi1717,

The rules for article use do not change after 'of' or 'in'. They are the same as in any other sentence. You can read about the way articles are used on these pages (use the links on the right to read about particular uses) and if you have any specific questions after reading those then we'll, of course, be happy to answer.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I have fulfilled every tasks %100))

Everything is clear and thanks so much!!!