A – An – The

A and the are the most commonly used determiners and are two of the four most commonly used words in the English language.

Small Group or Class Activity

See if you can figure out when we use a and when we use the

            We can say:                A mouse          A dog              A cat

                                                The mouse       The dog           The cat

                                                The mice         The dogs         The cats

            We cannot say:          A mice             A dogs            A cats

            What can we conclude about the difference between a and the?

      1. Can we use a with a singular noun?
      2. Can we use a with a plural noun?
      3. Can we use the with a singular noun?
      4. Can we use the with a plural noun?

So when can we use a and when can we use the?

Small Group or Class Activity

When do we use a and when do we use an?

             We can say:                A horse            A man             A unicorn

                                                An hour           An MC            An umbrella

            We cannot say:          A Indian          An cat             A orange         An one-armed man

Test your idea by choosing a or an before the words below.

 1. tree

5. hour

9. ukulele

13. apple

17. orangutan

2. television

6. sled

10. inkblot

14. unit

18. umbrella

3. ear

7. hoe

11. cup

15. dance

19. horse

4. unique hat

8. ape

12. upstairs

16. table

20. M&M

Individual or Small Group Activity

Work either exercise:  Sweden Grades 1+

                                       Sweden Grades 7+