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I've noticed a number of recent questions on ELL that request advice using articles. To avoid having to list the basic rules of use, I would like to propose that the current tag wiki:


Article is the term used for a modifying word that introduce a noun phrase, and that implies that:

  • The thing referred to is not specific (e.g. she bought me a book)
  • The thing referred to has already been mentioned (e.g. she bought me the book I wanted to buy last summer)

In the first case, the article is the indefinite article; in the second case, the article is the definite article.


is extended with @DamkerngT. 's answer here. This change would make the answer easier to find.

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    You're certainly welcome to propose a tag wiki edit! I do have to warn you that even really excellent tag wikis don't tend to have a huge effect though. People just don't often read them. (How to change that has been discussed on MSO before, I think.) – WendiKidd Mar 10 '14 at 0:15

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