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TM

Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

Nouns 1 - a/an, the, some, etc.


Lesson code: ICVV-S1MB-AVL2-I

INTERMEDIATE +

1 Presentation 1 - Countable and uncountable


I had two eggs, a sausage and some bread for breakfast.

1) Countable nouns
`Eggs' and `sausage' are countable nouns. Countable nouns can be singular (an egg) or plural (eggs).
Before singular countable nouns, we can use a/an, the, my, this, one etc. We cannot use singular
countable nouns alone:
There is a book on my desk.
I can't find my mobile phone.
Before plural countable nouns, we can also use some, any, many, few, etc. Plural countable nouns can
be used alone. We cannot use a/an.
He smokes 20 cigarettes a day.
I bought some apples at the supermarket.
I don't have any posters in my bedroom, but I have a few plants.

2) Uncountable nouns
`Bread' is an uncountable noun. We cannot count uncountable nouns. For example, we cannot say `two
breads'. We can use uncountable nouns alone or with the, some, any, much, a lot of, etc:
Do you like music?
Anna hasn't got much free time today. She has a lot of work to do.
We cannot use a/an with uncountable nouns, but we can say a ... of:
a piece of advice

a glass of water

a game of football

3) Some uncountable nouns can also be countable. The meaning also becomes countable:
Do you have any paper to write on?

The Times is a serious paper. (= a newspaper)

There was a lot of space on the bus.

I found a space to park my car. (= a parking place)

I don't like coffee. (= coffee in general)

I've had two coffees today. (= two cups of coffee)

I have a lot of work to do. Yesterday I worked 14 hours.

B:

You really need to find a new job. Here... I bought a paper for you.

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A:

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Dialogue

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lingua house

Nouns 1 - a/an, the, some, etc.


A

TM

Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

2 Practice 1
Complete the following sentences using `a/an' or `some' where necessary.
1. Michael is a student at Manchester University.
2. Although I am very busy, I will find some time to visit my uncle.
3. Julia is wearing

very nice dress today.


problem with my computer. Can you help me?

4. I have
5. I want to buy

new car, and I need

advice.

more cake?" "No thanks. I had

6. "Would you like


full."
7. Have you got

very large slice and I'm

minute? I want to talk to you about something.

8. I'd like

loaf of bread and

9. I need

pen and

10. It was

great party. I met

11. Yesterday, I did

apples please
paper to write on.
very interesting people.

shopping. I bought

new pair of jeans.

3 Practice 2
One of each of the pairs of sentences requires `a/an'. Leave the gap empty (-) if no word is necessary:
1. I booked
There wasn't

room at the hotel.


room on the bus to sit.

2. Do you drink
Mike ordered

coffee?
large coffee with milk.

3. The printer has run out of


I went to the newsagent's to buy

paper.
paper.

great time at the party last night.


time for lunch?

4. We had
Do you have

5. Do you know that girl with


Waiter! There's

short hair?
hair in my soup!

6. "What do you do for a living?" "At the moment, I'm looking for
Have you found
job yet?

work."

special cheese from Italy.


cheese?

7. Mozzarella is
Do you like
8. This job requires
My trip to Africa was

experience with computer programming.


important experience in my life.

9. Chairs, tables and cupboards are


furniture.
That's
beautiful piece of furniture. Where did you find it?

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cereal almost every morning.


bowl of cereal for breakfast this morning.

AB

10. I eat
I had

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Nouns 1 - a/an, the, some, etc.


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TM

Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

4 Presentation 2 - a/an and the


Before nouns we often use a/an or the:
1. John has a cat and a dog. The cat is shy, but the dog is very friendly.
When we mention something for the first time, we use the indefinite article a/an. When we know
which thing someone is talking about, the definite article the is used.
In the second sentence, we know which particular cat and which particular dog the speaker is talking
about - John's cat and John's dog.
I had a sandwich and an orange juice for lunch. The sandwich was very tasty and the juice was fresh.
I met an interesting man yesterday. I think the man was from Greece.
2. We went to a nice restaurant last night. The food was good but the service wasn't.
In the above example, the person says the food and the service because we know which particular
`food' and `service' he/she is talking about - the food and the service in the restaurant.
Can you close the door, please? (the door in this room)
I'm going to the bank now. (my usual bank)
I went to see the doctor yesterday. (my usual doctor)
3. What is the capital of England?
We often use the when there is only one of something:
The fastest animal in the world.
The end of this year.
I use the Internet everyday.
the sun / the earth / the sky / the universe etc.
BUT: The sun is in space. (not `the space')
4. I'm going to the cinema tonight.
We use the before certain nouns like `cinema' when we are thinking about the use of a thing or place.
In the above example, we are thinking about going to watch a film, not going to one particular cinema.
Other examples:
I went to the theatre yesterday.
I often listen to the radio.
I sometimes play games on the computer.
He doesn't like talking on the telephone.
BUT: I often watch television. (not `the television').
`The television' means a particular television set: Can you turn off the television?

We are going to the cinema tonight to see an interesting film.

Oh really? What is the name of the film?

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Dialogue

P H OT

OC

lingua house

Nouns 1 - a/an, the, some, etc.


A

TM

Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

5 Practice 3
Complete the following sentences with `a/an' or `the':
1. Yesterday, I ordered
sandwich wasn't very tasty, but

sandwich and
coffee for lunch.
coffee was good.
old castle. Behind

2. Near my town, there is


lovely lake.

castle, there is

interesting girl at the party last night. She was from Vietnam." "Really? I've
girl from Vietnam before."

3. "I met
never met

sms and
sms, but not

4. "I sent you

email. Did you receive them?" "I got


email.

5. Jack has
new job. He works as
music band. I'd like to have
job like that!

tour manager for

6 Practice 4
Complete the sentences below with `a/an' or `the'. Two of the gaps don't require any words - leave
them blank (-).
1. What's

name of

man you met yesterday?

great time at

2. I had
3. I'll send you

club last night. How about you?

sms to let you know

time of

television, please?
4. Can you turn off
table next to you.
5. "Excuse me, is there
and turn left. It's right next to

7. I can't meet you for lunch tomorrow. I made


dentist.
8. We stayed at
lovely hotel. Our room had
sea.
9.

remote control is on

bank near here?" "Yes. Go to


town hall.

space was one of


20th century.

6. Travelling in

meeting.

end of this street

most important achievements of


appointment to see
beautiful view of

airport is only 30 minutes from here, so you can take

taxi. It won't be

very expensive.
TV tonight?" "I don't know. I don't have
film we saw last night was

Internet.

best film I've seen all year.

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12.

fascinating website while I was surfing

LE

11. I came across

television."

AB

10. "What's on

P H OT

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lingua house

Nouns 1 - a/an, the, some, etc.


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Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

7 Practice 5
Complete the following text by crossing out the incorrect words:
We had a / the wonderful holiday last month in Egypt. We stayed at a / the really nice hotel and spent a lot
of / a time sunbathing on a / the beach. A / The weather was perfect. A / The best part was when we went
diving in a / the sea. We saw a / - fish of all kinds and a / the variety of other marine wildlife. There are
some / the great places for diving near a / the coast. On a / the last day, we visited - / the pyramids, and
had dinner at one of a / the best restaurants in Cairo. A / The food was fantastic. We ate - / the grilled
meat, - / the rice and - / the salad.

8 Online review
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Review your flashcards regularly if you want to remember all the material from your lessons. If you
have a large knowledge collection, try to review them every day for at least 15-20 minutes.

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lingua house

Nouns 1 - a/an, the, some, etc. - Key


A

TM

Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

2- Practice 1

3. a
9. a

4. a
10. a; some

5. a; some
11. some; a

6. some; a

7. a

8. a;some

2. -;a
8. -;an

3. -;a
9. -;a

4. a;10. -,a

5. -;a

6. -;a

3- Practice 2

1. a;7. a;5- Practice 3

1. a;a;The;the
4. an;an;the;the

2. an;the;a
5. a

3. an;a

6- Practice 4

1. the;the
5. a; the; the
9. the;a

2. a;the
6. -;the;the
10. -;a

3. an;the;the
7. an; the
11. a;the

4. the;the;the
8. a;a;the
12. the;the

7- Practice 5

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Review your flashcards at least 3-5 times a week for 20 minutes to keep the material fresh in your memory.

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You can review this worksheet online at www.linguahouse.com/ex

LE

We had a wonderful holiday last month in Egypt. We stayed at a really nice hotel and spent a lot of time sunbathing
on the beach. The weather was perfect. The best part was when we went diving in the sea. We saw - fish of all
kinds and a variety of other marine wildlife. There are some great places for diving near the coast. On the last day,
we visited the pyramids, and had dinner at one of the best restaurants in Cairo. The food was fantastic. We ate grilled meat, - rice and - salad.

P H OT

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