What is the Difference between Definite and Indefinite Articles

In English grammar, an article is identified as a small word that introduces and refers to a noun. It can be a place, thing, person or an idea. For instance, a pencil or an elephant or the Eiffel Tower (Here, a, an or the are articles that introduce noun). Articles are primarily categorized into two parts, one is the definite article and another is an indefinite article. ‘An’ and ‘a’ are indefinite articles and ‘the’ is a definite article. Let us understand the different between definite and indefinite article and the rules to use them correctly.

Definite Article

A definite article is an article, which introduces or indicates a specific noun. It talks about something specific which is already known to the listener.
For instance:
•    The Taj Mahal is the symbol of love
•    I want to have the banana milkshake.

In above mentioned sentences, ‘the’ is a definite article that signifies a particular noun.

Indefinite Article

An indefinite article is an article that identifies or introduces an unspecified noun. In simple words, an indefinite article introduces not a specific or a particular noun. It is used when a speaker or writer is talking about a thing in general.
For instance:
•    John wants an iPod
•    Do you have a paper?
•    This is an extraordinary place.

In the aforesaid sentences, ‘an’ and ‘a’ are indefinite articles that refer to things which are new and introduces to a listener for the first time. Besides, these articles are also used when a writer or speaker is asking about the existence of something.

The difference between the definite and indefinite articles can be seen in the following sentences.

•    I want an ice-cream.
•    I want the vanilla ice-cream.

The first sentence talks about any number of ice-cream as ‘an’ is used to introduce indefinite ice-creams. On the other hand, the second sentence talks about a particular flavor of an ice-cream. Hence, article ‘the’ refers to definite or a specific ice-cream flavor.

Use of definite article (The)

•    It can be used to indicate a noun that has been specified before.
•    It is used to refer a noun that is unique.
•    It is used to refer to a time period.
•    It is used indicate a natural phenomenon
•    It is used to introduce all the members of a family.

Use of indefinite article (An and A)

•    It is used before some numbers.
•    It is used before unspecified singular noun.
•    It is used with nouns to form adverbial phrases of amount, or quantity.
•    It is used before the singular noun, which is followed by a modifier.

What are Pre Writing Strategies?

Writing is a means of communication, which represents a language through signs and symbols.  In simple words, writing is the way of expressing or describing thoughts and emotions on a paper. Prewriting is an essential part of the writing process. It is the initial stage and at this stage, we search and look for the ideas and thoughts so as to convey it on the paper. There are various prewriting techniques, which we use in our day-to-day life activities. Some of the important prewriting strategies are listed below:

•   Brainstorming: Brainstorming means writing or listing the ideas, thoughts and views that come to your mind.  Write down the ideas that come into your mind, and from all those ideas, you can choose and create a topic, which you can describe well.

•   Free Writing: Free writing is the step in which you create a lot of information by writing about a particular topic. It is the process that encourages you to write whatever comes to your mind. Set a time-limit and write anything that makes sense, even if nothing particular comes to mind, then also you must write.  At this stage, you should jot down the ideas on a paper before you conduct research on the topic. In this form of writing, spelling or grammar errors are considered secondary things instead you need to focus on the information you have generated and written on a paper.

•   Clustering: Clustering is a process of mind mapping. At this stage, you draw a circle in your mind and keep the main idea in the center. Similarly, you draw new ideas or sub-ideas in your mind and link these ideas to the main idea. In this way, you can identify the relationship between ideas and how these fit with each other. By clustering your ideas, you can visually plan how you will present your ideas to the readers.

•   Looping: Looping is a free-writing method that enables you to concentrate on your idea or thought in order to create a topic for writing.

•   Journalistic Technique: According to journalist point of view, the writing starts with 5W’s and 1 H (Who, What, When, Why and How). Based on the six important questions, you can discover the topic, which you will be writing. These questions are often used when describing an event or incident. Let us understand the 5 W’s and 1H in detail.

Who – Who are the person involved in the event or conflict.

What – What is the topic or issue? What is the importance of the topic or issue?

Where – Where refers to the place. Where the issues or activities took place?

When – When refers to the time period (past, present or future). When did the problem or issue arise?

Why – Why did the issue or incident take place?    

How – How does the issue or incident affect the participant?

What is the Importance of Drafting in English Grammar

Writing is a great way of conveying the ideas that come to your mind. In English language, there are various steps of writing process. The writer usually follows these steps and communicates their ideas or thoughts more clearly and concisely to the audience. The steps involved in the writing process are pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Every step is important and plays a major role in creating a piece of writing meaningful for the readers.

Pre writing is the first stage of the writing process. At this stage, the students brainstorm ideas or map out their thoughts by using diagrams. The second stage of the writing process is drafting stage. It is the stage when a writer drafts his or her ideas on a paper.  At this stage, ideas or thoughts are expressed by the writer in a coherent manner. The third stage is the revising stage and at this stage a writer modifies and rearranges the content in order to make it readable for the audience. The fourth stage is the editing stage in which a writer proofreads his or her content and also checks for the grammar errors. The last stage is the publishing stage and at this stage, the ideas and thoughts are shared with the audience.

In English language, the importance of drafting is immeasurable. When a writer chooses a topic or an idea, he or she checks certain things like whether the topic or content is appropriate and the tone is correct for the audience. A draft for an essay or research paper is designed with the help of an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraph and the conclusion. Through an interesting introductory paragraph, a writer tries to capture the attention of the reader. A thesis statement paves the way for the rest of the content. The body paragraph contains all the evidences to support the thesis statement. Further, the conclusion paragraph sums up the entire idea in an organized manner. Hence, the drafting part encompasses the essential elements in a writing process.

What is the Difference between Revising and Editing

Revising and editing are the two most important stages of the writing process. Through these stages, a writer not only re-writes the content, but also organized it in a sequential manner so as to ensure clarity. A lot of people confuse between revising and editing as they did not understand the changes that need to be made to a document. Revising and editing are two different processes. A revising stage is a continual process of writing or re-writing, whereas an editing is a process of grammar or punctuation correction. Let us understand the difference between revising and editing in detail.

•    In the revising stage, you need to review or redraft your content so as to maintain coherence. You are required to check minute details of your text including the logical flow of your topic or ideas, the genuineness of your evidences and the summary of your topic. On the other hand, in the editing process, you need to proofread your text so as to identify the grammar errors, missing punctuation marks, complex sentences, repetition of words, etc.

•    When you revise your text, you make certain changes like adding new ideas, using more descriptive words, improving the style of idea presented, removing irrelevant details, etc. On the other hand, when you edit your text, you make changes in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and punctuation.

•    Generally, in revision, you need to add, rearrange, remove or replace the details so as to make it more meaningful for the readers. This process must be followed by every writer. In editing, you are required to pay attention to the spelling error, grammar error, punctuation and sentence construction. Editing is a very taxing process, which is usually performed by professionals or season writers.

Editing and revising are very essential processes when it comes to writing something important. By following these two processes, a writer can share the ideas in a clear and concise manner to the audience.

English Grammar