English as an Additional Language/Articles and Adjectives

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Next up we will learn two very important things: articles and adjectives. Both articles and adjectives typically occur before the noun they modify, with articles occurring before adjectives.

Articles[edit]

Like other languages, English has a definite and an indefinite article. Unlike most Romance languages, English has no gender of nouns and so the articles don't change at all.

  • Definite article (used when the noun or nouns are already known):
    • The
  • Indefinite article (used when the noun or nouns is not already known):
    • For singular nouns: a
    • For singular nouns beginning in a vowel or a silent "h:" an Note that often "a" is used in front of vowels for some words; you will have to learn the exceptions individually.
    • For plural nouns, the closest thing to an article would be some.

Adjectives[edit]

Remember that an adjective describes a noun. In English, adjectives are always placed before the noun, for example:

  • The red apple.
  • A soft sheep.
  • An angry dragon.
  • The silly boys.
  • Some hard rocks.

Also, English adjectives do NOT agree with number or gender:

  • The red apples, NOT The reds apples
  • Some tall women, NOT Some talles women

The exception, however is the adjective "blond", which agrees with gender in writing:

  • The blond boy, but;
  • The blonde girl.

This is not strictly observed, however. Either "blond" or "blonde" is acceptable, and you are unlikely to be noticed using the feminine form for a male noun or vice versa.