Here are the basic rules for when to use "A, An or The":
- a = indefinite article (not a specific object, one of a number of the same objects) with consonants
Eric has a dog.
Gregory works in a factory.
- an = indefinite article (not a specific object, one of a number of the same objects) with vowels (a,e,i,o,u)
Can I have an apple?
Donata is an English teacher.
- the = definite article (a specific object that both the person speaking and the listener know)
The car over there is fast.
The teacher is very good, isn't he?
- The first time you speak of something use "a or an", the next time you repeat that object use "the".
I live in a house. The house is quite old and has two bedrooms.
I ate in a Vietnamese restaurant. The restaurant was not very clean.
- DO NOT use an article with countries, states, counties or provinces, lakes and mountains except when the country is a collection of states such as "The United States".
My uncle lives in Cumbria near Lake Windermere.
They live in Bristol.
- Use an article with bodies of water, oceans and seas -
I live on a small island in the Baltic Sea.
- DO NOT use an article when you are speaking about things in general
I like Indian tea.
Simon likes reading books about linguistics.
- DO NOT use an article when you are speaking about meals, places, and transport
He has breakfast at home.
I go to university.
- Reda goes to school on foot.