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Grammar Challenge


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Grammar challenger Anastasiya from France

The 'zero' article
Previously in Grammar Challenge we've seen how nouns usually have an article; the indefinite articles 'a' or 'an' or the definite article 'the'. Sometimes though there is no article associated with a noun and this can be called the 'zero' article. Today we learn some simple rules for when not to use an article.

In the programme we challenge Anastasiya from France to spot correct and incorrect uses of 'zero' articles.


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There are a lot of rules about when we don't use articles. Here are four of them:

We don't use an article:

1. to talk about plural and uncountable nouns or when talking about things in general:

I'm terrified of heights
I'm into drum and bass.
I hate cheese.

2. before countries, towns, streets, languages and single mountains:

I'm from China.               
I've climbed Mount Everest. 
She speaks French.

3. Before some places and with some forms of transport:

I live at home with my parents.
I came here by car.           
He goes to work by bus.

4. In exclamations with what + uncountable noun:

What beautiful weather!
What loud music!
What disgusting food!


Download Nuala's grammar explanation (pdf - 23 K)

Download this programme (mp3 - 1.8 MB)
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