- Before almost all nouns, some way of specifying the noun is required.
- The most common words used are the and a/an.
- a/an - one of many
- the - specific one
- A Windows computer crashed. (One of many Windows computers)
- The Windows computer crashed. (Only one Windows computer)
- The fastest CPU available is DEC's Alpha processor.
- A programming language taught at this university is C. (One of many)
- The programming language taught at this university is C. (C is the only one)
- `An' is used before a noun starting with a vowel sound.
- Data in an EEPROM can be erased electrically.
- He is an honest professor.
- (!) This is a universal problem.
- (!) This circuit uses an NPN type transistor.
When "the" or "a/an" is not needed
- Other words can be used instead of the and a/an.
- When words such as his, her, this and that are used,
the or a/an is not necessary.
- His hard disk has a capacity of 8 GB.
- That circuit requires a power supply of 5 V to operate.
- How many transistors are in that IC?
- When something is being referred to in general,
instead of the or a/an the plural form of the noun is used.
- For countable nouns, the plural form usually
just requires adding an `s' to the end of the word.
- For uncountable nouns, no change is necessary.
- Before an uncountable noun or the plural form of a countable
noun, `a' or `an' never appears.
- Windows computers crash frequently. (Windows computers in general)
- When capacitors are connected in parallel, the total capacitance increases.
- During compilation of a program, object files are created.
- Current is created by the movement of electrons.
- Gold is used inside integrated circuits.
- Before company and other names, the and a/an
are not necessary.
- Microsoft should have been split into two companies.
Fill in the blanks with a, an or the.
In some cases, none of these is required.
- There are _____ 200 statements in this program.
- What is _____ square root of 36?
- I bought _____ 60 GB hard disk for my computer.
- Programming languages such as _____ C are high level languages.
- CDMA is one of _____ technologies used in wireless communication.
- Ethernet is _____ popular type of computer network protocol.
- We measured _____ inductance of the coil we made.
- _____ integrated circuits are very small.
- There are nine AND gates in _____ circuit in this diagram.
- We used _____ n-channel FET in our experiment.
© 2003 David Asano. All Rights Reserved