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The use of a and the!

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Lugha' started by Freeman Patrick, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. F

    Freeman Patrick Senior Member

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    Jaman tusaidiane, mpaka leo bado kuna baadhi ya sehemu tunachanganya matumizi ya a and the, so i would like you guys to tell me the proper use of a and the, where do we use a and where do we use the! I kindly request your contribution plz!!!
     
  2. T

    The Infamous JF-Expert Member

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    unatumia 'a' kama kitu unakitamka kwa mara ya kwanza, kikijirudia unatumia 'the'
     
  3. Dotworld

    Dotworld JF-Expert Member

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    Freeman Patrick
    .
    When to use the indefinite article a and when to use the definite article the depends mostly on how specific you want to be.

    During a wedding ceremony the groom would say, "Give me the ring! ... The wedding ring!" because he must have a particular ring, while a carpenter would say, ‘Hand me a nail" because he doesn't care which nail in the box he uses. Usually the bigger problem is not whether to use a definite or indefinite article, but whether to use an article at all.

    So many choices! When do you use a? .. When do you use an? .. When do you use the?.

    We already talked about when to use a when to use an in the article but we'll give you a few more examples here.

    A:

    You use this when
    you're not necessarily referring to a specific thing (such as a nail, any nail). It's called an indefinite article, because you're not being definite or particular.

    There are many nails in this big world.

    • She owns a cat.
    • I work on a golf course.


    An:

    It's used just like a, but when preceding a vowel sound. It probably comes from Old German, on which Old English was based.

    My theory is that the use of an survives after all these centuries because it sounds better before vowels. Saying, "I want a apple" sounds odd, compared to, "I want an apple." For the same reason, the fake French sentence, "À Anne, on en a un," sounds even more odd.


    • May I borrow an egg?
    • He is an arrogant critic.
    • The house on that corner once belonged to Charles Dickens.
    • The weather is very pleasant today.
    • We visited a palace on our vacation. The palace was built in 1546.
    • We also went to a concert. The concert was too loud for me.
    • He moved to Nepal near Mount Everest.
    • They spent their honeymoon in eastern Maine, on Penobscot Bay.
    • I prefer folk music.
    • She hates making noodles.
    • She eats breakfast at home.
    • She traveled to college by train.
    • British: I go to university.
    • American: I go to college.
    • American: I transfered to the university last year.
    • British: I felt so ill that I went to hospital.
    • American: I got so sick I had to go to the hospital.


    The:

    You're talking about a definite item, which is why the is called a definite article. Of course it only makes sense if both you and your listeners know which item you mean. If I commanded you, "Give me the money," you would rightfully ask, "What money? I don't owe you any money."


    • You can use the the second time you refer to something, even if you usedan the first time. We know what you're referring to, because you just told us. You can do this, but I wouldn't recommend it. Read these examples – repeating the noun might sound monotonous.


    • When it comes to geography, you don't use the before the names of most nations, provinces, states,lakes or islands. But there are many exceptions: the United States, the Ukraine, or the Congo. On the other hand, the Ukrainians and Congolese people I've met say, "Ukraine" and "Congo," so go figure. If the name refers to plural items, such as the United States, or the Maldives, you would use the definite article. You would do the same for rivers and oceans, such as the Amazon, the Nile, and the Caspian Sea. Bays need the definite article.


    • Unlike some languages such as French and Spanish, English sometimes does not use any article at all. You don't need one when making a general statement, or when talking about meals and transportation.
    • British writers don't use an article for some places that Americans would.
    .
     
  4. F

    Freeman Patrick Senior Member

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    Tnx 4 your contribution!
     
  5. F

    Freeman Patrick Senior Member

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    Dah, what a wanderful lesson..!! Thanks for this wanderful lesson, i've really understood it... Let's keep on helping one another whenever needed...
     
  6. mayenga

    mayenga JF-Expert Member

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    Big Salute!
     
  7. Maundumula

    Maundumula JF-Expert Member

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    Watu wengi sisi ambao sio native English speakers hapa panakuwa pagumu sana.
     
  8. Aqua

    Aqua JF-Expert Member

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    I agree with what Dotworld has written,in addition I would like to add my knowledge

    A:a and an are indefinite articles(dont talk about a specific thing).
    Use of a
    1.a is used bfr a single countable noun eg. a bus, a car, a mango, a pen when mentioned for the first time.When the same noun is mentioned for the second time you use the eg. Yesterday I was driving a car.The car I drove was blue in color.

    use of an
    1.It is used before singular noun whose name start with a vowel(a,e,i,o,u)
    eg. an Orange, an apple,an aeroplane,an iron etc
    2.An is also used before noun that when pronounced they sound as if they start with a vowel eg. an hour(aawa),an apple(eepo)

    B:the is a definite article
    1.As seen above when a noun is mentioned for the second time we use the to refer to it
    2.The is used before name of things that are believed to be only one in this world eg. the ocean(the indian ocean,the pacific ocean), the sky,the universe,the African continent,the moon, the sun
    3.the is used before superlative when doing comparison eg. the most beautiful women, the most intelligent student,the best player


    Hope it help.
     
  9. F

    Freeman Patrick Senior Member

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    Thanks Agua, i've now understood well dis beautiful lesson of yours... I'll be now confident when using these things!
     
  10. telitaibi

    telitaibi JF-Expert Member

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    unafundisha shule gani ka wanangu wamepat mwalimu wa Eng.
     
  11. F

    Fredmaty Zach. Member

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    it is very fantastic lesson, naona kabla hujazaliwa mama alikula chakula chenye madini ya kingereza. unafaa kuelimisha
     
  12. Omonto wa-hene

    Omonto wa-hene Senior Member

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    Teh! Teh! Teh! Teh! Teh! Teh! Teh! Teh! Teh! There you are Dotworld! You have reminded me of those days in a Day Secondary School (kind of schools built to accommodate Kayumbas at remote rural community in the periphery) when my English teacher taught this lesson for a couple of months however we could hardly grasp his preaching! Give me time, I am coppying this lesson into my diary for future reference!!!
     
  13. georgeallen

    georgeallen JF-Expert Member

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    Hapa nimepotea njia nini, naona kama ni HKL tupu.
     
  14. F

    Freeman Patrick Senior Member

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    Swala la lugha ni la mtu yeyote yule, na si hkl au pcm, mbona wapo wa2 wanaongea english ingawa hawajasoma?
     
  15. Aqua

    Aqua JF-Expert Member

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    You are right,unajua wa Tz wengi vitu tumekutana navyo shule au kwenye course zetu.Ukitumia neno la kisaikolojia kwa mtu aliyesoma saikoloji atakuambia kaka ulisoma psychology nini?Kisa yeye neno hilo alikutana nalo wakati anasoma psychology.Hivyo hivyo,ukisema return on investment(ROI) au cash inflow ,cash-outflow,equity ratio mtu atakwambia mzee umesoma finance nini?
    Kuna mtu mmoja nilimwambia kuhusu mambo ya customer feedback kwamba "only 5% ya customer hucomplain about service na 95% watahama kimya bila kueleza kutokulizika kwao".akaniambia "sawa kabisa hicho tulifundishwa kwenye Management''.
    So tubadilike ufahamu wa vitu ni bidii ya mtu binafsi,"If you can read you can learn anything".There is no limits except the ones you set yourself.
     
  16. S

    Skype JF-Expert Member

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    Freman, Aqua, Dotworld, et al., you have made a significant change in my undestanding of these articles (i.e. A, AN, and THE).
    My compliments!
     
  17. Aqua

    Aqua JF-Expert Member

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    You are welcome at any time "t".
     
  18. F

    Freeman Patrick Senior Member

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    Aqua i do uphold u 100%, i've been tellin' p'ple abt dis thing so many tymz, i took PCM at my advanced level edctn, i was putting more emphasis on the use of english, then the frndz of mine were tellin' me there is no need 4 us learn english as we ar takin' PCM, english is 4 arts students, until nw wa ar abt 2 go 2 university, these p'ple do not knw hw to speak english well...! U've really touched me with your explanation!
     
  19. F

    Freeman Patrick Senior Member

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    Tnx, it is our duty to educate one another...
     
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