Carnegie Mellon University

Grammar Tips: Articles (A, An, The)

It can be hard to choose the right article to precede a noun. A or an? The or nothing at all? Is the thing I’m referring to specific, or general? Choosing the right article depends on the noun itself and what it means in the sentence.

In this handout, you’ll learn:

  • How to handle words that are countable and those that are not
  • How to precede common and proper nouns

This flowchart will guide you as you choose articles for your nouns.  

Still need guidance on how to choose (a? an? the?) right article? Schedule an appointment with one of our consultants now!

Schedule an Appointment