In the TOEFL, the use of the article (article) a, an, and the one aspect most frequently asked questions. On the other hand, the use of the article is often underestimated, although we must admit that its use is often confusing, particularly in determining whether or not we add the article in front of the noun.

Do you want to know the extent of your understanding of use of the article a, an, and the before continue reading this article? If yes, please immediately do Practice test 3. Later you can decide for yourself whether you should continue reading this or not. Good luck!

Differences in use of the article A vs AN.
As an article, ‘a’ and ‘an’ meaning is one. In the Indonesian language, both of this article can be translated into an / an / an / a ff. This depends on the noun that follows it.

For example,
a lady = a woman
a tiger = tiger
a leaf = leaf, and so on.
The use of A and AN
A. a and s can only be followed by singular nouns (singular), but never directly followed by the uncountable nouns (objects can not be calculated). By him, it would be incorrect if you write,

I need a water. (Water: uncountable noun)
I just ate a bread. (Bread: uncountable noun)
She just heard a bad news about her parents. (News: uncountable noun)
This sentence would be true if a removed or if the article before uncountable nouns (ie water and bread) was added measuring (container) or a measure that serves to indicate how many / volume / size of the uncountable nouns.

I need water. Or I need a glass of water.
I just ate bread. Or: I just ate a big slice of bread.
She just heard bad news about her parents. Or: She just heard a piece of bad news about her parents.
When we use when we use a and an can be read on the topic of Noun (part 2): Countable. In addition, the noun belonging to the uncountable noun must also be known, because the article a and s are not used if followed by uncountable nouns.

2. a and s are used to express a singular noun in general (in general).
A football is usually made of leather. (Leather = skin. Note: in this context, do not use the word skin. Leather is animal skin that has been processed).
An artist should keep a good relationship with fans.
3. a and s are used to refer to a singular noun that has never been mentioned before.


I met a guy last night.
My company just built a new skyscraper. (= Skyscraper skyscrapers)
THE use of the article
There are some rules you should understand the use of the article.

A. The commonly used to refer to the noun that has been mentioned previously. Given the, noun is meant to be more specific. Noun can be countable, can also uncountable noun. If a countable noun, the noun can be singular, it could be plural. In this case, the meaning is, or it can be, or sometimes are.


I met a guy last night. The guy my number and asked whether I would go out for a date.(Number = number, date = date). In this sentence, the can replaced with that.
The water in my well is contaminated. (Well = wells, contaminated = contamination). In this sentence, if the fit is not replaced by that, because “water” in this sentence is explained by the “in my well.” Try to translate, feel awkward is not it?
Three students did not perform well in my exam. The (three) students studied hard enough hadn’t before the exam. In this sentence, said the three are optional: can be used, can also be removed, because its meaning is understood by the listener or reader. In this sentence, the can replaced with Those / these. If you have any doubts in the use of Those / these, would be safer if you use the.
There are many persons named Agnes Monica on Facebook. You will have hard time to find the Agnes Monica sings Matahariku WHO.
In contrast, the no use if we talk about uncountable nouns or plural nouns in general (in general).


Water needs to be conserved. (Water should be conserved / protected).
Sugar is sweet. (Sugar (taste) sweet).
Durians are very smelly. (Duarian-durian so bad / strong smell).
Lazy students hardly get good grades. (Students who are lazy almost never get good grades).
2. Words such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper (= dinner), school, church, home, and generally do not require college article. However, if the noun is referred to, then the required article.


We go to school everyday. Starting next week, however, the school will be bulldozed by the government. (Be bulldozed = razed to the ground by using a bulldozer).
Jenny and I just finished having lunch at the cafeteria. I thanked her Because she paid for the lunch.
I am very tired. I’d like to go home.
3. Other rules in determining whether the use or not, can be seen in the following table.Note: the nouns used in the following table generally does not mean “it”, by him, can not be replaced with that.

Use THE for: Do not use THE for:
Name the oceans, seas, rivers, bays, lakes plural (name of the lake consists of two lakes and more).
Example: the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Java Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Great Lakes, the Citarum River
Name of the lake
Example: Lake Toba, Lake Batur, Lake Erie
Name the mountains
Example: the Rocky Mountains, the Andes, the Bukit Barisan
Name of the mountain
Example: Mount Merapi, Mount Semeru, Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Everest.
Earth, moon, sun
Example: the earth, the moon, the sun
Name of the planet (besides Earth), constellations
Example: Mars, Venus, Orion,
Name of school, university, college if the school, university, college is placed in front.
Example: the Cooper’s School of Art, the University of Gadjah Mada University, the College of Arts and Sciences.
Name of school, university, college if the school, university, college is placed in the back.
Example: Cooper’s Art School, Gadjah Mada University, Sante Fe Community College.
Ordinal number before nouns
Example: the Second World War, the third chapter
Cardinal number after nouns
Example: World War Two, Chapter three.
Name of the war (except World War)
Example: the Korean War, the Crimean War, the Civil War
Name of the country consisting of two words or more (except Great Britain)
Example: the United States of America, the Central African Republic
Name of the country, if only one word
Example: Indonesia, China, Canada, France
Name of the continent
Example: Asia, Europe, South America.
Name of the state / province
Example: Florida, Ohio, California, Manitoba, East Java, North Sulawesi.
Historic documents
Example: the constitution, the Magna Carta
Name Sport
Example: basketball, football, tennis
Abstract noun
Example: freedom, happiness
Fields of science
Example: mathematics, Economics, Sociology
The name of the holiday
Example: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Eid al-Fitr, Independence day


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