In the previous two lessons (i.e. Indefinite Article Usages and Definite Article Usages) we have learnt when and where to use Articles. But in this lesson, unlike the previous lessons, we are going to learn where to omit Articles.

articles omission

Articles should not be used in the following case —

Rule 1 – Before Plural Noun

Normally no Articles are used before Plural Nouns. As –
  1. Birds fly.
  2. Cows give milk.
  3. I love books.
Note:–  But if the Plural Noun points to some specific thing, Article ‘the’ is used. As –
  1. The birds of Africa are large in size.
  2. The cows of Haryana give much milk.

Rule 2 — Before Proper Noun.

As –
  1. John is coming.
  2. Jerry loves his sister.

Rule 3 — Before an Abstract Noun.

As –
  1. Love is blind.
  2. Wisdom comes with age.
  3. This is real beauty.

Rule 4 — Before a Material Noun.

As –
  1. Gold is costly.
  2. Silver is white.
  3. Cotton grows in our country.
  4. Water is life.
(Gold, silver, iron, glass, wood, stone, paper, wine, coffee, tea, etc. are called Material Noun)

Note:–  All the Nouns mentioned under rules 2, 3 and 4 above are called Uncountable Nouns. Normally, as has been explained above, no Article is used before them. But if these Nouns are used as Countable Nouns, Article ‘the’ is used before them. If these nouns are followed by Prepositional Phrase (with in or of), they become Countable Nouns. In such cases Article ‘the’ is used before them. As –
  1. Kalidas is the Shakespeare of India.
  2. The beauty of Kashmir is remarkable.
  3. The gold of Kollar field is not of high quality.
  4. The milk in the cup has turned sour.
  5. The wisdom of Solomon was known far and wide.

Rule 5 —

No Article is used before Collective Nouns. As –
  1. Society will not permit it.
  2. Parliament is in session.
  3. Jury has given its verdict.
  4. Army is on the move.

Rule 6 —

Normally no Article is used before the names of countries or states. But Article ‘the’ is used before the names of the following countries/states –
The U.S.A., the U.S.S.R., The Sudan, The Netherlands, The Punjab, The Congo.

Rule 7 —

No Article is used before the names of Languages. As –
  1. I know English.
  2. He knows French.

Rule 8 —

No Article is used before the names of Diseases, Festivals, and Seasons. As –
  1. Cholera has broken out.
  2. He is coming on Christmas.
  3. These are winter sports.
  4. Let us visit Blue Mountain in spring.
  5. I don't travel in summer.

Rule 9 —

No Article is used before the names of Games, Sports and Meals/Breakfast. As –
  1. I am late for dinner.
  2. I take breakfast quite early.
  3. I shall return for supper.
  4. He plays cricket.
  5. They are fond of football.

Rule 10 —

No Article is used before Relations such as father, mother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, etc. Cook and nurse are also included in this list. As –
  1. Father is coming today.
  2. Mother is not well today.
  3. Cook is in the kitchen.
  4. Nurse is very kind.

Rule 11 —

School, college, church, chapel, court, work, hospital, market, bed, table, sea, prison also take no Article before them when they are used for their specific purpose or function. For example, school/college for education, church for prayer, and market for purchase or sale. When used in this sense, they take no Article. As –
  1. I am going to college. (for study)
  2. I am going to church. (for prayer or worship)
But when they mean only building or place for visit or sight-seeing or any other purpose, they take appropriate Article. As –
  1. The college is at the next crossing.
  2. The church is magnificent.
  3. The market is closed.

Rule 12 —

Distributive Adjective + Noun require no Article. As –
  1. Each boy got a prize. (not, a/the each boy)
  2. I love every student. (not, a/the every student)

Rule 13 —

Possessive Adjective + Noun also require no Article. As –
  1. Thus is my house. (not, the/a my house.)
  2. He is your friend. (not, a/the your friend.)
  3. These are our cows. (not, the our cows.)

Rule 14 —

Proper Noun + Apostrophe's + Noun take no Article. As –
  1. This is Ram's house. (not, a Ram's house.)
  2. That was Michael's mistake. (not, a/the Michael's mistake.)
Note:–  But if a Common Noun has Apostrophe s ('s), it takes an appropriate Article. As –
  1. This is an old man's house. (not old man's house)
  2. This is a beggar's cottage. (not, beggar's cottage)

Rule 15 —

No/Not any + Noun need no Article. As –
  1. There is no boy in the class. (not, a no boy)
  2. She has not any chance. (not, a not any chance)
  3. There is not any egg. (not, not an any egg)

Rule 16 —

The Noun (complement) used after Elect/appoint/make/crown requires no Article. Such Noun refer to men of unique position. As –
  1. He was appointed principal.
  2. They made him chairman.
  3. They are going to crown him king.
  4. He was elected Speaker of the Assembly.

Rule 17 —

The Noun used after kind of/sort of also takes no Article. As –
  1. What kind of chair do you want to buy?
  2. I cannot deal with this sort of man.
Note:–  But if kind of/sort of refers to some special quality or talent, it would take an appropriate Article. As –
  1. What kind of a musician is he?
  2. What sort of a problem would you discuss?

Rule 18 —

Noun coming in pairs also take no Article. As –
  • They are wife and husband.
Such other pairs are –
Father and mother; brother and sister; father and son; from door to door; from house to house; face to face; hand to hand; from man to man; frim village to village, etc.

Rule 19 —

Some popular Phrases, Idiomatic expressions, place and things also take no Article before the Noun in them. They are –
  1. to go to school, college, court, church, market, bed, home, hospital, prison.
  2. by road, by train, by air, by sea, by ship/steamer, by bus, by car.
  3. at home, at church, at school, at college, at office, at dawn, at night, at noon, all day, all night, at fault, at present, at all, at will.
  4. for sale, for fear, for favour, for leave, for mercy.
  5. in bed, in debt, in fact, in trouble, in hand, in favour of, in opposition to, in earnest.
  6. under consideration, under trial, under ground, under pressure.
  7. on demand, on trial, on sale, on foot, on earth, on behalf of.
  8. to catch fire, to send word, to give ear, to set sail, to lose heart, to set foot, to take offence.