Article Usage and IELTS - Part 4

The Zero Article

Rule

Examples

No article is needed for continents, countries (except those with multiple islands), towns, streets, lakes, singular mountains

I am going to travel to Asia. I will visit China, Tibet, and Nepal. I cannot wait to hike to the base camp of Mount Everest.

Typically, no article is needed for uncountable nouns

I like coffee.

Knowledge is power.

No article is needed in front of company names

My internet provider is Comcast.

I need to go to Ikea.

No article is needed with games or sports

I like to play Monopoly.

My grandfather plays golf every weekend.

No article is needed for bed, church, court, hospital*, prison, school, university, or work when they used for their primary purposes.

The is required if they are used for other purposes.

*In America, the is used with hospital

I go to school on the weekdays, and I go to church on the weekends.

In contrast:

I have an interview at the school.

I will drop the donations off at the church.

My mother-in-law in in the hospital.

Articles are often dropped in headlines to add impact

Scientists Discover New Planet

Abducted Child Found Safe

ACTIVITY - Fill in the blanks with the correct article. If no article is needed, use an “x”.

After I left __________ work today, I stopped by __________  high school to take pictures for __________ Daily Times. __________ newspaper is running ___________ article about ________ hockey, __________ most popular sport in __________ Canada. __________ Canadians like hockey because it is __________ cold weather sport that allows __________ fighting. In fact, many people play hockey several times __________ a week.

ANSWERS

After I left x work today, I stopped by the high school to take pictures for the Daily Times. The newspaper is running an article about x hockey, the most popular sport in x Canada. x Canadians like hockey because it is a cold weather sport that allows x fighting. In fact, many people play hockey several times a week.