rules oF No Article & Exceptions

Lesson 3 : No Article & Exceptions
• Proper nouns
No Article is used before proper nouns. So no article is used before ---
i) names of people
ii) names of continents/countries
iii) names of states/cities/towns
iv) names of days/months/festivals
v) names of subjects of study
For example:
We live in Dhaka / Bangladesh.
We are learning English.
He is a student of law/science.
a) family relations
These are normally treated like proper nouns, so no article is used before father, daddy, dad,
mother, mum, mummy, uncle, aunt.
Example: Father/Daddy is at home. (not the father/daddy)
b) names of seasons
Though names of seasons can be used with or without ‘the’, it is more common to drop the
Example: Spring is in the air.
• Uncountable nouns
No article is used before uncountable nouns (material and abstract nouns).
He sells milk.
She lacks confidence.
• Names of games/sports
No article is used before the names of games/sports:
We play cricket/tennis/football. (not, a cricket)
• Public institutions
No article is used before public institution like these: church, court, hospital, market, temple,
prison, school, college, university
We go to church on Sundays. (not the church)
My child does not like to go to school. (not the school)
Old people must go to hospital for regular check-ups. (not the hospital)
But a noun like this takes ‘the’ when it refers to its building:
I went to the mosque to admire its architecture.
• The north (of Bangladesh)
Northern Bangladesh (without ‘the’)
The north-east (of Spain)
South-eastern Spain
Sweden is in northern Europe; Spain is in the south.
• We do not use ‘the’ with names of most city streets/roads/squares/parks etc.:
Wall Street (not the…) Fifth Avenue Hyde Park
Queens Road Broadway Times Square
• Names of important public buildings and institutions (for example, airports, stations,
Universities) are often two words:
Manchester Airport Harvard University
Victoria station (not the …) Canterbury Cathedral Edinburgh Castle
Buckingham Palace Cambridge University Sydney Harbour
Buckingham Palace (not the…)
the Royal palace
(‘Royal’ is an adjective – it is not a name like ‘Buckingham’.)
• We do not use ‘the’ names of people (‘Helen’, ‘Helen Taylor’ etc.). In the same way, we
do not normally use ‘the’ with names of places:
For example:
Africa, Europe, South America
France, Japan, Switzerland, Texas
Bermuda, Tasmania
Cairo, New York, Bangkok
Everest, Etna, Kilimanjaro
• Compare:
Ken’s brother is in prison for robbery.
(Note: He is a prisoner. We are not thinking
of a specific prison.)
Ken went to the prison to visit this brother.
(He went as a visitor, not as a prisoner.)
Joe had an accident last week. He was taken
to hospital now. (as a patient)
Jane has gone to the hospital to visit joe.
She’s at the hospital now. (as a visitor)
When I leave school, I want to go to
Excuse me, where is the university, please?
(=the university buildings)
Sally’s father goes to church every Sunday.
(to a religious service)
Some workmen went to the church to repair
the roof. (not for a religious service)
With most other places, you need ‘the’.
For example:
the cinema, the bank.
• Compare:
In general (without the) Specific people or things (with the)
Children learn from playing.
(=children in general)
We took the children to the zoo.
(=a specific group, perhaps the speaker’s
I couldn’t live without music. The film wasn’t very good, but I liked the music.
(=the music in the film)
All cars have wheels. All the cars in this car park belong to people who
work here.
Sugar isn’t very good for you. Can you pass the sugar, please?
(=the sugar on the table)
English people drink a lot of
(=English people in general)
The English people I know drink a lot of tea.
(=only the English people I know, not English
people in general.)
I like working with people.
(=people in general)
I like the people I work with.
(=a specific group of people)
Do you like coffee?
(=coffee in general)
Did you like the coffee we had after dinner last
night? (=specific coffee)
• Compare ‘a’ and ‘the’:
a) I’ d like to have a piano.
I can’t play the piano.
b) We saw a giraffe at the zoo.
The giraffe is my favourite animal.
We use man (= human beings in general/the human race) without ‘the’:
English Two
Unit 1 Page # 23
What do you know about the origins of man? (not the man)
c) It was a four-week course.
The course lasted four weeks.
• Plural indefinite nouns
No article is used before plural nouns that are indefinite:
Bees gather honey.
Dogs bark at night.
I love birds and animals.
The is used before a plural noun only when it is made definite by a preposition or a relative
The apples that are on the tree are ripe.
The soldiers of this battalion are well-trained.
Apples are costly. (not, the apples)
• Nouns as object complements
No article is used before a noun acting as a complement to the direct object:
They crowned him king. (not, a king)
The article is omitted when the object complement (king) indicates a unique status of the
direct object (him).
They appointed him professor. (not a professor)
We elected him chairman. (not a chairman)
(N.B: ‘complement’ is a word or phrase added to a verb to complete the predicate in a
• Names of meals/articles of food
No article is used before names of meals/articles of food:
I have breakfast at 8’ clock. (Not, a breakfast)
I usually have lunch at 2 p.m. (not, a lunch)
I had just finished dinner when the call came.
There is brinjal on the menu today. (not, the brinjal)
When the name of a meal or article of food is modified by an adjective phrase or relative clause,
an article must be used to make it specific.
I had a good breakfast this morning.
There is a dinner tonight in honour of the new director.
The bread/fish you are eating is not fresh.
Repetition of articles
When two or more nouns joined by and refer to the same person or thing, an article is used
before the first noun only:
He is a great poet and thinker. (not, a thinker)
The District Magistrate and Collector is on tour (not, the Collector).
But when they refer to different/separate people or things, an article is used before each of
Both the boy and the girl have done well in their examinations.
The Prime Minister and the Education Minister are reaching tomorrow.
When two or more adjectives modify the same noun, an article is used before the first
adjective only.
I have a red and blue pencil.
(only one pencil that is partly red and partly blue)
But when adjectives modify different nouns, an article is used before each of them:
I have a red and a blue pencil.
(two pencils-one is red and the other blue)
Fill the gaps with appropriate articles:
1. ___ Mexican food is spicy
2. I have read ___ Romeo and Juliet.
3. I don't eat ___ cheese.
4. Thanks for ___ help you gave me yesterday.
5. Where's ___ pencil I lent you yesterday?
6. Can I borrow ___ red pencil, please?
7. I don't like ___ small, noisy children.
8. I don't eat ___ German cheese.
9. He goes to ___ school.
10. I live in ___ Dhaka.
Answer Key
1. No article
2. No article
3. No article
4. the
5. the
6. a
7. No article
8. No article
9. No article
10. No article


বাংলা রচনা সমূহ
বাংলা ভাষা ও সাহিত্য
English Essay All
English Grammar All
English Literature All
সাধারণ জ্ঞান বাংলাদেশ বিষয়াবলী
সাধারণ জ্ঞান আন্তর্জাতিক বিষয়াবলী
ভূগোল (বাংলাদেশ ও বিশ্ব), পরিবেশ ও দুর্যোগ ব্যবস্থাপনা
বি সি এস প্রস্তুতি: কম্পিউটার ও তথ্য প্রযুক্তি
বি সি এস প্রস্তুতি: নৈতিকতা, মূল্যবোধ ও সু-শাসন
বি সি এস প্রস্তুতি: সাধারণবিজ্ঞান
বাংলা ভাষার ব্যাকরণ
বাংলাদেশ ও বিশ্ব পরিচয়

Copyright © Quality Can Do Soft.
Designed and developed by Sohel Rana, Assistant Professor, Kumudini Government College, Tangail. Email: [email protected]