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Articles - Mạo từ

06/12/2021 11:18:15


I. Types of article (Phân loại mạo từ)

The indefinite article: A/ AN

The definite article: THE

II.The indefinite article (Mạo từ không xác định): A/ AN

1. Form (Hình thức)

  • The form “a” is used before a singular countable noun beginning with a consonant, or a vowel with a consonant sound. (Mạo từ “a” được dùng truớc danh từ đếm đuợc, số ít bắt đầu bằng một phụ âm hoặc nguyên âm có cách phát âm như một phụ âm)

Eg: a cat, a bag, a laptop, a university, a European, a one-way street

  • The form “an” is used before a singular countable noun beginning with a vowel, a mute “h”, or individual letters spoken with a vowel sound. (Mạo từ “an” được dùng truớc danh từ đếm đuợc, số ít bắt đầu bằng một nguyên âm- u,e,o,a,i , hoặc một “h” câm hoặc một ký tự có cách phát âm như một nguyên âm)

Eg:          an apple, an island, an uncle, an hour, an L plate, an MP, an “x”

2.Use (Cách dùng)

“A/an” is used…

  • before a singular countable noun when it is mentioned for the first time and represents no particular person or thing. (truớc danh từ đếm đuợc số ít khi danh từ đó đuợc đề cập lần đầu, và không chỉ một người hay vật cụ thể nào)

Eg:           He bought a jacket. I need a passport. She met an old man.

  • before a singular countable noun which is used as an example of a class of things. (truớc danh từ đếm đuợc số ít khi danh từ đó đại diện cho một nhóm)


              A car must be insured = All cars/ Any car must be insured.

              A child needs love = All children/ Any child needs love.

  • with a noun complement, including names of professions. (truớc “bổ túc danh từ”, bao gồm danh từ chỉ một nghề nghiệp)

Eg:          Susie is a nurse. It was an earthquake.

  • in certain numbers, quantity expressions, price, speed, ratio, exclamations before a singular noun. (truớc một vài số đếm, một số cụm từ định lượng, giá cả, tốc độ, tỷ lệ, cấu cảm thán với danh từ số ít)


a dozen

a plenty of

$1.50 a dozen


A lot of

a hundred

fifty kilometers an hour


A great deal of

a thousand

twice a day


What a pretty girl!

Such a long queue!


Note: “a” is used before “half” when half follows a whole number.

(Lưu ý: mạo từ “a” chỉ được dùng trước “half” khi “half” theo sau một số tròn)

Eg:               A kilo and a half = one and a half kilos. (1.5 kilos) Half a kilo (0.5 kilo) (no “a” before half)

  • before a title (Mr./ Mrs./Ms./ Miss) + surname so as to imply that the person is a stranger to the speaker

(truớc “tên hiệu + tên họ” để chỉ một người không quen với người nói)

Eg:          a Mr. Smith         a Mrs. Smith       a Miss Smith


3. Omission of “a/an” (Các trường hợp không dùng “a/an”)

“A/an” is not used…

  • before plural nouns or uncountable nouns. (truớc danh từ số nhiều,hoặc danh từ không đếm được)


a cat –> cats

a child -> children



(not a water)

  • before names of meals, except the names which are pre-modified by adjectives or which are special meals given to celebrate something in someone’s honor. (truớc danh từ chỉ các bữa ăn, ngoại trừ khi danh từ chỉ bữa ăn đó được tiền bổ nghĩa bởi một tính từ, hoặc khi danh từ đó chỉ một bữa ăn đặc biệt được tổ chức để chào đón một sự kiện)

Eg:          I had breakfast at 7:30 A.M (not a breakfast). (but:    I had an enormous breakfast yesterday.)

               I was invited to dinner at Bob’s house last night. (but: I was invited to a dinner given to welcome a new family member at Bob’s house)



III.The definite article (Mạo từ xác định): THE

1. Form (Hình thức)

  • “The” can be used the same for both singular and plural countable nouns, and uncountable nouns, for all genders. (Mạo từ xác định dùng cho cả danh từ số ít, số nhiều, đếm được và không đếm được)

Eg:          the girl                  the girls                the boy                the boys the water                                the soup              the juice              the ketchup

2. Use (Cách dùng)

“The” is used…

  • before an object or a group of objects which is unique or considered is be unique. 

(chỉ một vật hoặc nhóm vật duy nhất) 

Eg:          the earth             the equator        the sky                 the stars


  • before a noun which has become definite as a result of being mentioned the second time.

(trước một danh từ trở nên xác định khi nó đuợc nhắc đến lần thứ 2)

Eg:          Toni crashed into a tree. You can still see the mark on the tree.


  • a noun made definite by the addition of a phrase or clause. 

(trước một danh từ xác định khi nó đuợc hậu bổ ngữ bởi một cụm từ hoặc một mệnh đề quan hệ)

Eg:          the girl in early twenties               the man that you talked to


  • before a noun which, by reason of locality, can represent only one particular thing.

Eg:          Will you please switch on the fan? (in this room) Please, pass me the salt. (on this table)


  • before superlatives, or first, second, third…as adjectives or pronouns.

Eg:          the most beautiful lady                 the first novel that I have ever written


  • before a singular noun to imply a class of animals or things, or before a member of a certain group of people.

Eg:          The whale is in danger of extinction.

The first-class traveler pays more, so he expects some comfort.


 Note: Don’t use “the” before “man” when it is used to represent the human race.

            Eg:          If oil supplies run out, man may fall back on the horse.


  • before an adjective to represent a class of people.

Eg:          the poor              the rich                 the old

  • before certain proper names of seas, rivers, groups of islands, chains of mountains, plural names of countries, deserts, regions and before certain other names.


the Atlantic

the Thames        the Alps

the Netherlands


The Sahara

the United States

the United Kingdom



  • before certain names forms, including “the noun of noun”, “the adjective + noun”, and names of choirs, orchestras, pop groups


the Gulf of Mexico

the Cape of Good Hope



the Arabian Sea

the High Street

the Beatles



  • before a plural surname to mean “the… family”, or before “a singular name + clause/ phrase”

to distinguish one person from another of the same name.


Eg:          the Smiths = Mr. and Mrs. Smith (and their children) the Smith who signed this letter


  • before a musical instrument.

Eg:          He plays the guitar very well.


3.Omission of “the” (Các trường hợp không dùng Mạo Từ Xác Định) “The” is omitted…

  • before names of places or people except as mentioned above.

Eg:          London                 Ho Chi Minh City               Peter

  • before abstract nouns, except nouns used in a particular sense.

Eg:          Men fear death

               The death of the Prime Minister left his party without a leader.

  • after possessive adjective or possessive case.

Eg:          my uncle’s son = the son of my uncle

               It is my (pink) dress = the pink dress is mine.


  • before names of meals, sports, games.

Eg:          We had breakfast with jam and bread.


  • before indefinite plural nouns.

Eg:          Women are physically weaker than men.


4. Alternative use of “the” (Các ý nghĩa khác nhau khi dùng hoặc không dùng Mạo Từ Xác Định)


  • “The” is NOT used before “home” when “home” is not preceded or followed by a descriptive word. Otherwise, “the” is used before “home” as other nouns.

Eg:          He went home.

               We arrived home after 6:00 P.M 

(But)       They moved to the new home yesterday.

               A mud hut was the only home that he had ever known.


  • “The” is NOT used before “Bed/ Church/ Hospital/ Court/ Prison/ School/ College/ University” when these places are visited or used for their primary purpose.

Eg:          go to bed (to sleep) go to school (to study)

               go to hospital (as patients)

               be in bed (sleeping or resting) 

               be at school (studying) 

               be in hospital (as patients)


  • “The” is used before “church/ hospital/ school/ college…” when these places are visited or used for other purposes.

Eg:          I go to the prison sometimes to visit my friend.

               We went to the church to see the stained glass.

               Sometimes, we go to the hospital to donate food to the poor.


  • “The” is NOT used before “sea” as sailors/ crew/ passengers.

Eg:          We go to sea (as sailors)

               We are at sea (as passengers/ crew)

  • “The” is used before “sea” to imply the location of seaside.

Eg:          We live by/near the sea.

               We are at the sea.

  • “The” is NOT used before “work” in a sense of “place of work”.

Eg:          Mark is on the way to work.

               Daisy is at work.

               My son hasn’t been back from work.

Note: “at work” may also mean “working”.

He is hard at work on the project = He is working hard on the project.

  • “The” is used before “office” in a sense of “place of work”.

Eg:          Jack is at/in the office.

Note:    be in office = hold an official position (be in power)

             be out of office = be no longer in power.

Eg:          Bob is out of office now.


  • “The” is NOT used before “town” when speaking of the speaker’s own town.

Eg:          We went to town 3 days ago.

               I was in town last Monday.


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