Omission of Article

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Many sentences in the English language contain articles. However, there are certain circumstances where an article is not used. 


Rules

  1. Articles are not used in front of Proper Noun.

  • Delhi is the capital city of India.

  • Gold is a valuable metal.

  • Assam faced heavy rainfalls and floods.

  • Mumbai is famous for its Gateway of India.

  • Apple makes sophisticated laptops.


  1. Articles are not used before languages

  • I learned Japanese in within a year.

  • Mandarin is the most difficult language.

  • English is essential for traveling anywhere in the world.

  • I traveled to France, without knowing French.


  1. Before a common noun used in its commonest sense-

  • Iron is used to make many types of machinery.

  • Humanity has always survived with love.

  • Gold is considered as a precious metal.

  • Animals are bred in captivity in the ZOO.


  1. We do not use articles in front of the name of the subjects, such as Maths, Biology, economics, etc.

  • I hate the fact that Mathematics is his favorite subject.

  • Economics as a subject is very interesting.

  • I was asked to opt for computers by my teachers.


  1. We omit articles when words like Nature, Science, Death, Life, etc are used in the General Sense.

  • Nature has its own rules and it follows them effortlessly.

  • The saint explained that death is inevitable.

  • Science does not have all the answers to nature’s mysteries. 


  1. We do not use articles before the names of a meal like lunch, dinner, etc. 

  • Have you taken dinner?

  • Breakfast timings will differ depending on when you wake up.


  1. We do not use articles in front of seasons, festivals, names of days, and months.

  • She will reach the town on Sunday.

  • Summer is the best season for swimming. 

  • Christmas is celebrated in December.


  1. When words like school, college, church, hospital, prison, temple, etc are used for their primary purpose -

  • Rudra goes to university daily.

  • She goes to school in the morning. 

  • We all go to Church on Sunday.

  • Criminals are sent to prison in Albuquerque. 


  1. Sometimes we form certain phrases which are just a preposition and noun. Such as, at school, in bed, at noon, etc.                 

  • He is in bed. 

  • We checked the building top to bottom.

  • The principal stayed back at school.   

  • Listening to the travel plans, I was automatically on board.     


  1.  We avoid using articles in certain phrases consisting of a transitive verb and its object. Such as, set sail, take heart, send word, catch fire, take offense, leave office, etc..

  • He took offense at my words. 

  • The ship will set sail at 1500 hours.


  1. When a common noun is written in pairs, we omit articles from it.

  • Both brother and sister are exceptional students. 

  •  The husband and wife were allowed to take part in the play.


  1. We don’t use articles before plural nouns used to denote a class-

  • Oranges are supposed to be rich in Vitamin C.

  • Books are our best friends.

  • Animals are a wonderful creation of nature. 


  1. Before the nouns following kind of:

  • The people in North-East India wear different kinds of clothes.

  • What kind of human leaves a starving dog?


  1. We don't use any article before the word " God "

  • They all prayed to god for peace and prosperity after a war.


Special Points to Remember

Notice the examples below

  • I have a brown and black dog.( There is only one dog)

  • I have a brown and a black dog.( There are two dogs)

These are the exceptions where the articles are omitted. To make it more clear there is an exercise below


Solved Example

Fill in the blanks with a, an, or the as the case may be. Leave blank if the article can be omitted.

  1. ………….. Honesty is the best policy.

  2. This is ………….. best car in my garage.

  3. He has a house by …………. lake.

  4. …………….Computers are used in many offices and schools.

  5. He was …………. Leonardo da Vinci of Tibet. 

  6. They speak ……………. English at home.

  7. My uncle is in ………….. bed.

  8. I went to ……………. hospital to visit my brother.

  9. Mr. Picher became ………………..  dean of the college in 2015.

  10. ………………….  mother seems to be very angry with me.


Answers

1.None 

2. The 

3. 

4.none 

5. None 

6. None 

7. None 

8. the 

9. None 

10. the

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Omission of Article?

This omission of the article is done before abstract nouns, certain uncountable nouns, and proper nouns in some cases. ... So with such cases, while the article is implied, it is not written. Hence we call such implication a 'zero article'.

2. What Do You Mean by the Plural Noun Which Denotes Class?

It means that the noun which is representing its whole class. For eg Horses are best for racing. We omit articles in front of the plural noun.