Definite and Indefinite Articles

Posted on Jan 25 2014 - 5:22am by Zdenda

As there are no articles in my mother tongue, using them correctly in English is a real challenge. Like many other non-native speakers, I often leave them out or use one too many. And my students do this too.
I have been thinking for years how to teach articles effectively and finally I feel that I found the way. I created a mind map which shows the thinking process you should go through to have the articles correct.

Articles – mind map

There are two mind maps. The first one is simpler and the other is for more advanced students.
The mind maps show the thinking process you should go through to get the articles correct. Start at 1 o’clock and go clockwise.


Articles mind map for elementary students

The following Mind map is for intermediate students:
Articles mind map for intermediate students

Articles – Video

If you still feel that you need more explanations, you can watch the following video explaining the usage of the definite article “THE”. The recording was prepared by BBC learning English.

Articles – games

For those of you who regularly come to our site there are two new games this time. The first one is a classical game called Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. You have to answer all the questions correctly to win this game. Good luck!

Articles – Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

The second new game is called Fling the teacher and your task is again to answer all the questions correctly. If you manage to do this you will fire the teacher :-), because you will not need him any more.

Articles – Fling the teacher.

The last game is the Penalty game which has been used here several times (eg. for teaching prepositions AT, IN, ON or verb patterns )

Articles – Penalty Shootout

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9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Oksana 25/01/2014 at 2:11 pm -

    Hi! Thanks for the great games. Just wanted to say that there is a mistake in the game “Articles – Who Wants to be a Millionaire”. In the sentence about Michael Jackson one must choose -,the,- , not a,the,a (the indefinite article is not used with proper names and dates). And something is wrong with the sentence about meeting at the bus stop (“th five”). I’d love to use this game with my students and it would be much better if you could correct that 🙂

  2. Zdenda 25/01/2014 at 2:46 pm -

    Thank you for spotting the mistakes. I have corrected them. Thanks again

  3. wunna 26/01/2014 at 2:03 pm -

    I like.

  4. Sanja 29/01/2014 at 8:03 pm -

    Hello, the games are great, thanks!Just wanted to say – there is a mistake in the game ” Penalty Shootout”. David lives in A ___ small village in___ middle of England- the first answer has already been given (please erase “a”) 🙂

  5. Zdenda 30/01/2014 at 3:32 am -

    Sorry about the the mistake. I will try to erase it.

  6. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I am hoping to present one thing again and aid others like you helped me.

  7. คอร์ดเพลง 09/02/2014 at 4:16 am -

    Fine way of explaining, and good article to get facts on the topic
    of my presentation subject, which i am going to deliver in school.

  8. grace 11/03/2018 at 12:40 pm -

    This helps a lot!! i will bring this information sor school

  9. grace 11/03/2018 at 12:41 pm -

    Sorry, to school

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