An article (abbreviated art) is a word (or prefix or suffix) that is used with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. Articles specify grammatical definiteness of the noun, in some languages extending to volume or numerical scope. The articles in the English language are the and a/an, and (in certain contexts) some. 'An' and 'a' are modern forms of the Old English 'an', which in Anglian dialects was the number 'one' (compare 'on', in Saxon dialects) and survived into Modern Scots as the number 'ane'. Both 'on' (respelled 'one' by the Normans) and 'an' survived into Modern English, with 'one' used as the number and 'an' ('a', before nouns that begin with a consonant ...view middle of the document...
Within each type, languages may have various forms of each article, according to grammatical attributes such as gender, number, or case, or according to adjacent sounds.
Variation among languages
Definite article Edit
See also: Arabic definite article
A definite article indicates that its noun is a particular one which is identifiable to the listener. It may be something that the speaker has already mentioned, or it may be something uniquely specified. The definite article in English, for both singular and plural nouns, is the.
The children know the fastest way home.
The sentence above refers to specific children and a specific way home; it contrasts with the much more general observation that:
Children know the fastest ways home.
The latter sentence refers to children in general and their specific ways...