The use of the articles A/An/Zero: advanced level

The use of the articles A/An/Zero: advanced level

My first encounters with articles in English grammar left me discouraged, and I was trying to ignore them for years. If you have reached a very high level of English, and you are still not sure how to use the articles, here are some of the examples that will help you remember where to place them.

A/an/zero article

  1. A/an+singular count nouns that are not known to the reader.
    It means “one among many” or “anyone.”

Example: I am looking for a flat in the city center

“A”– is used before a consonant sound: a book
“An”– is used before a vowel sound (a,e, i,o,u): an egg, an orange

Pay attention: words that start with “h” can have either a consonant sound (a hand cream) or a vowel sound (an hour)

2. Before a profession/job:


He used to work as a science teacher.
My little sister wants to be an actress.

Pay attention: When talking about a unique position of someone, or a title, you should use “the” or zero article:

She is the head of the company
She is head of the company

Compare: I am a bartender at Fast Lanes (many bartenders are working there)

The position of/the post of/ the role of + zero article+a job title

Example: Ms. Smith was offered the role of Assistant Manager.

When talking about an individual product, a/an can be used before a brand name:

She has bought a BMW

When talking about one piece of art of an artist, an article can be used before the name of the artist:

My friend has a da Vinci in his bedroom!