“Article” as a general term has several dictionary meanings: ‘a piece of writing about a particular subject’, ‘a separate item in a contract or deed’, ‘a particular item or a separate thing in a set of things’, but here it is:
The ‘Articles’ in English grammar are: a or an and the
Using these three words is one of the most difficult tasks in English grammar. Luckily, however, most mistakes we make in the use of these three little but important words do not make much difference to the meaning of most of the sentences. There are however certain situations where using or not using the articles may make a lot of difference. Therefore, knowing some of the important rules will enable the learners to use them correctly.
Though it is usually possible to understand a sentence or expression without any articles, it is always better to use them correctly.
“A” and “An” are called ‘Indefinite Articles’ and “the” is called ‘Definite Article’. When we use ‘a/an’ we mean “one” or “some” and when we use ‘the’ we mean “the same”, the one that is mentioned before.
e.g. There is a man standing at the gate. (= some man, we do not know or do not recognise that man)
The man is wearing a long coat. (= the same man we see at the gate)