Our last key grammar lesson looked at referencing
. Now we are going to study the use of articles. This is one of the trickiest pieces of English grammar to use accurately but it cannot be avoided because
it’s such an important part of the language. If you need to get a band 7 score or higher you need to use articles accurately the majority of the time.
In today’s lesson, complete the exercise below to find out how much you already know about articles. Then read our article rules carefully and complete the second exercise. Don’t worry if you don’t get a perfect score, the grammar of articles can be complex
and IELTS examiners know this. If you still have questions, write them in the comments section
at the bottom of this blog post.
Task 1 – INTERACTIVE exercise (a / an / the / x)
Read the sample task 2 question and model essay and write the appropriate
article in the gap.
You can write either a
if no article is required, or click once
on an article and once again
on a blank space.
Some people say that the best way to improve public health is to increase the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Task 2 – Articles Review
Now let’s review some rules concerning articles in English.
a / an
(the indefinite article) with singular countable nouns.
- The first time you mention a thing or person: There was a rise in inflation during the second half of the year.
- When you say what something is: It is a large percentage.
- When you say what someone does: She is a teacher.
- in some fixed expressions: Twice a year.
- …when you talk about something you have already mentioned before: There was a rise in inflation. Prices of basic foodstuffs increased because of the rise in inflation.
- …when you name a process: The circulation of blood around the body improves when you do a sport. The recycling of aluminium is a long and complex process.
- …when the context makes it clear what you are referring to: He opened the door.
- …when you talk about places in a town: My town is very historical because of the ancient roman amphitheater and fort.
- …with superlatives: The best IELTS site on the internet is IELTSTutors.org (of course).
- … when you state a country with a plural name or that has a title (republic/kingdom of…) before the country name. The United States of America is an English speaking country. The Republic of Indonesia is the most populous country in South East Asia.
There are many set phrases which require the
(the definite article). Many of the phrases below can be found in the text
in Task 1 above. If you don’t know them already, then try to learn them so you can use them in your speaking and writing.
- There is no denying the fact that…
One of the reasons I agree is that….
On the flip side….
The number of … is rising.
- We cannot overstate the importance of …
The basics of English are easy to learn.
don’t use the
- …when you are speaking in general (with plural and uncountable nouns): We usually see sales of food and toys rise as we approach Christmas. Helium is used in a number of important medical situations.
- …for proper nouns: English is an international language.
Task 3 – INTERACTIVE EXERCISE (A / AN / THE / X)
Let’s test if you have improved your use of articles. Read the Writing Task 2 question and answer and fill in the blanks in the text with a or an, the, or x if no article is needed.
Studying the English language in an English-speaking country is the best but not the only way to learn the language.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
We hope this has helped you understand more about articles. If you have questions about these exercises, leave a comment
below. If you have problems with any particular grammar points and would like IELTSTutors.org to write a post to help you, then leave a comment below about the problem and we will try to get back to you as fast as we can.
Our next key grammar lesson is about Infinitives of Purpose.