Saturday, August 13, 2011

Article usage in English - Part 1

This, my dear readers, promises to be perhaps the most useful series of posts that you will ever come across regarding the English language.

The first thing you must understand is that articles, though usually small words, can change the entire meaning of sentences and thus your message.

For instance, if you were talking about a particular software, and you wrote:

"Software is very easy to use." what you've just written sounds to a native speaker like "all software (in the entire universe) is easy to use."  And we all know that is pure nonsense.

This particular example was taken from a Russian shareware developer website.

What should have been written is, "The software is easy to use."

The use of "the" indicates that you are talking about that particular software that is being discussed.

The best thing about articles and article-usage is that once you start to see the huge difference they can make in the meanings of your sentences, you'll start to love them.

However, you may initially find them slightly difficult to understand.  Don't give in.  Keep pursuing their meaning and usage in English. You'll be very happy you did!

By the way, other language also have articles (obviously) but the usage is different.  Don't think that because your native language has articles that you shouldn't learn the proper usage in English.  You definitely should.

So, in the next few days I will start outlining how to properly use articles.  Starting with definitions.

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