#EngQuiz: The Determiners (the, a, an)

Gary Oldman Oscar.jpg
Gary Oldman won an Oscar in the 2018’s ceremony (Pic from mirror.co.uk)


Using a determiner the, a, and an can sometimes be tricky. So, let’s have another practice to brush it up. The rules are easy: fill the blanks with the correct determiner.

TIPS: Before you start answering, read this article on determiners: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/08/21/engtips-the-determiners-the-a-an/

  1. Here is _____ useful article about gardening that I found ______ few days ago.
  2. Have you heard? It snowed in _____ Sahara.
  3. He bought me _____ ‘Orange Is the New Black’ DVD box set as _____ birthday gift.
  4. When do you plan to return _____ book to me?
  5. I think I’m going to wear _____ white shirt for _____ interview tomorrow.
  6. After performing for almost 40 years, Gary Oldman finally received _____ Oscar in 2018.
  7. Which one do you think I should take, _____ TOEFL or _____ IELTS?
  8. It’s such _____ honor to perform for _____ Queen.


1.a, a
Explanation: ‘Useful’ makes a yoo sound, which sounds like there is a consonant ‘y,’ therefore it is ‘a useful article.’ ‘a few days’ is clear enough.

Explanation: The Sahara is a specific area, only one in the world.

3.an, a
Explanation: ‘Orange Is the New Black’ begins with a vowel, therefore the determiner is ‘an.’ ‘a birthday gift’ is clear enough.

Explanation: People in the conversation have already known which book the speaker is referring to, so ‘the’ is the correct article.

5.a, the
Explanation: ‘a white shirt’ is the correct form as the shirt was not specified enough. ‘the interview’ is the correct form because it is already specified that it will happen ‘tomorrow.’

Explanation: ‘Oscar’ begins with a vowel.

7.a, an
Explanation: Both noun refer to general TOEFL/IELTS, but it is also acceptable not to put any articles, since TOEFL & IELTS are already established names.

8.an, the
Explanation: Although ‘honor’ starts with a consonant, the ‘h’ is mute or unread. Therefore, we put ‘an’ as the determiner. For the second part, a nation normally has only one queen, so ‘the Queen’ is the correct form.


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 26 March, 2018.




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