Curso First Certificate Exam



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The article






Try to study these 7 basic rules which will help you use the article correctly:


We do not use the article with names of countries. However there are some exceptions to this rule, e.g. the United States, the Netherlands, the Philippines. Other geographical places we do not use the article with are: the names of continents, cities, lakes, mountains and streets:

Europe, Africa, New York, Buenos Aires,
Lake Michigan, Lake Geneva, Mont Blanc,
Mount Aconcagua, Fifth Avenue, Florida Street.

But we use the article with these geographical places: the names of rivers, canals, oceans, seas, mountain ranges:

the Amazon, the Parana, the Panama Canal,
the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Andes, the Alps, the Himalayas.



We do not use the article for referring to uncountable nouns (or plural countable nouns) in an indefinite way. But we use 'THE' in the pattern 'THE' + noun + a phrase to indicate who or what we are specifically referring to:

the advice of a counsellor
the love she gave her children
the letters on his desk



We do not use the article in certain prepositional phrases with 'institutions' (e.g. church, college, home, hospital, prison, school, university, bed):

My wife's in hospital.
They go to church every Sunday.
He's in prison for armed robbery.
Go to bed immediately!!

In these examples we are thinking of the function of the institution. But when you are thinking of the institution as a specific place you use 'THE':

Susan's in the hospital round the corner.
I want to go to the church where the poet is buried.
The conditions in the old prison were really bad. Don't put your shoes on the bed.



We do not use the article with personal names:

Jane Fonda, Dr Valladares, Pope Paul

But we use 'THE' to emphasise that someone or something is the most famous of its kind:

You mean the Jane Fonda?


We also use 'THE' with people's titles:

the Pope, the doctor, the Emperor of Japan

We use 'A' or 'AN' with people's jobs and professions:

Sandra is a doctor, Mike is an engineer



We do not use the article to refer to plural countable nouns, but we use 'THE' + an adjective to refer to a category of people as a whole:

the old, the handicapped, the Argentinians



We do not use the article with some time expressions:

at night, at sunset, before sunrise, after sunrise

But with many common time expressions we use 'THE':

in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening
in the past, at the moment, during the day



We do not use the article when referring to the name of a sport:

I don't like tennis, Do you play football?

But we use 'THE' for referring to musical instruments:

Jorge Essen plays the piano beautifully.

Below, you will find two activities to practise this grammar.

The article (I)

ACTIVITY 268: Look carefully at these sentences. Check that the articles have been used correctly and make any necessary corrections. Copy/paste or drag the sentences into the blank spaces and correct the mistakes. Then check the correct answers.


At school children study subjects like the mathematics and the history, and learn how to take their place in the society.


The young people can learn a lot from the old.


She wants to be actress like girl next door.


In the morning he plays the squash before he goes to the work.


New houses are within easy reach of shops, public transport and leisure centre just opened by mayor.


Twice a week there are lectures in the library on the life and culture of the British Isles.


The article (II)

ACTIVITY 269: Read this text carefully and choose the correct alternative A, AN, THE or (nothing at all) from the menus. If necessary refer to Mr. Grammar's explanations. Then check the answers.


Sisters are often alike but they are never exactly   

same. In    many families one sister is often

called "  pretty one" and    other " 

clever one" when they are still    babies. Even 

young children think    beauty is more

important than    brains.

"I was so jealous of my sister's looks. She had    long fair hair and

 sweet little nose, and I thought that she always had  prettiest

clothes and    most attention. I hated her and I decided to kill her.

When    roof of    house was being repaired, I dropped 

brick out of    window when she was underneath. Thank God it

missed!!", says one ashamed near-murderer. "I must have been about ten

at    time, and she was    eight years old. Now she tells me that

she always felt stupid beside me in    school because I was always

  good student and she was weaker at    school work. But when

you're  teenager, you want    attention and  compliments

and    boyfriends;    good exam results don't seem like   

fair exchange".

life is particularly hard for someone who wants to follow in 

footsteps of    famous sister. Dee Dee Pfeiffer wants to be    film

star like her sister, Michelle. "When we were    children, Michelle was 

 beautiful one and I was  fat one", says Dee Dee. "I have been

on    diet for years, trying to achieve    figure which is as good

as hers. In  Hollywood everyone looks at you critically, and compares

you with your famous sister".


Han sido dos actividades muy entretenidas !!!
En la próxima página podrás practicar WORD FORMATION con variados verbos ...


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