Grammar: Nouns - Pronouns - Articles - Adjectives - Numbers - Verbs - Participles - Adverbs - Conjunctions - Prepositions - Interjections - Appositives - Word Formation -
Articles are actually just a special kind of adjective. They are adjectives which show the definiteness of the noun being referred to. In Modern English, we have several articles:
- The definite article (in Modern English "the") shows that a substantive is a particular noun that the listener should recognize
- The indefinite (in Modern English "a","an", or "some" for plural) shows that a substantive is not a specific noun that the listener shoulder recognize
- The negative article (in Modern English "no") shows that there is none of the substantive
In Old English, their definite article was also used as a demonstrative adjective and as a demonstrative pronoun, equivalent to Modern English "that" or "that one". You can see it on the pronouns page here.
Definite articles and demonstratives
Old English had two main determiners: se, which could function as both 'the' or 'that', and þes for 'this'.
|Instrumental||þȳ, þon||þȳ, þon||*þāra||*þǣm|
Also, in Old English they generally had no indefinite article (although occasionally their word for "one" - ān could be translated into Modern English as "a" or "an"). So in speaking Old English, a noun with no article at all would often be the equivalent to a noun with an indefinite article in Modern English, for example hūs - "a house", and dēor - "an animal".
There were several words that could be used to translate the negative article "no" in Old English:
- nān - "not (even) one"
- nǣniġ - "not any (at all)"
They both followed the normal strong adjectival declension (for which see here) and agreed with the nouns they modified.
Because articles are a kind of adjective, they were declined in agreement with whatever noun they modified.