Cases Where A/An Cannot Be Used

With plural and uncountable nouns

We do not use the before plural and uncountable nouns to talk about things in general.

  • Children usually rush about. (NOT The children…)
  • Water is precious.
  • Computers are expensive.
  • Wisdom is better than riches. (NOT The wisdom…)
  • Commonsense is a great virtue. (NOT The commonsense…)

With possessives and demonstratives

We do not use the with possessives (my, your) or demonstratives (this, those).

  • This is my husband. (NOT This is the my husband.)
  • I like this colour. (NOT I like the this colour.)

With singular proper nouns.

We do not use the with singular proper nouns.

  • Alice is an architect. (NOT The Alice…)

Between all and a number

The is not normally used between all and a number.

  • Take all three shirts. (NOT Take all the three shirts.)
  • Answer all five questions.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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