IELTS Writing Common Mistakes in Use of Articles

A small mistake may mean a lot if you are taking an international test like IELTS. You can’t make mistakes. Even an error in use of the articles such as a, an and the may lower down your score. So, you will have to be very careful.

 

There are many candidates who write well but do not pay attention to some common mistakes that occur due to poor hold over grammar or because of inattentiveness.

 

Check out some common examples.

 

Some candidates use “a” or “an” with nouns that are uncountable. That is incorrect.

 

Incorrect: He was telling me a facts.

 

Explanation: “Facts” is plural, and you are not supposed to make use of “an” in this sentence).

 

Incorrect: She was giving me an advice.

 

Explanation: It is regarded incorrect. It is always better to write this sentence as follows: She was giving me some advice or a piece of advice).

 

Incorrect: They were giving him an information

 

Explanation: The word “information” here is uncountable. You can say like they were giving him some information. Use of “an” before uncountable noun is not correct).

 

Incorrect: She was using a scissors

 

Explanation: Scissors is plural and it will not take “a.”

 

Incorrect: He was cleaning a glasses.

 

Explanation: “Glasses” is plural. You can’t use “a” before it.

 

Or it is always better to say, a pair of glasses, a pair of scissors or a pair of paints.

 

Incorrect: A rice

 

Explanation: Rice is uncountable. You can say a grain of rice.

 

Incorrect: He was doing a work.

 

Explanation: Work is uncountable. So, it is suggested that you should write as follows: He was doing some work.

 

But, a job task, a project, a job are correct.

 

Follow the sound

 

You should also understand that you will have to focus on sounds and not the letter. In general, we make use of “an” before words that begin with vowels, such as a, e, i, o, u. But, not all the words that begin with vowels may take “an.”

 

For example, you can’t write as follows: An university.

 

The word university begins with the letter U but if we focus on the sound then it is as follows: (you – ni – ver – si – ty).

 

Correct: A university

 

An umbrella ((pronounced like um – brel – la)

 

Check out some more examples.

 

An X-ray (pronounced like ex – ray)

An hour (h is silent)

A hat (h is not silent)

 

Similarly, we say, An MTI Event, An NGO, etc.

 

Do not use A/An if there is no noun following it.

 

He is an Indian (considered incorrect)

She is a Japanese (incorrect)

 

Because, Indian, Japanese are adjectives, not nouns.

 

You can say, He is an Indian Scientist. She is a Japanese Woman.

 

Similarly, it is incorrect to say, she is an intelligent. Because, “Intelligent” is an adjective. But, you can say like this: She is an intelligent girl.

 

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