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Unit 72. A / an and the

Unit 72; Part A

galka.jpgStudy this example:
Compare a and the in these examples:
    A man and a woman were sitting opposite me. The man was American, but I think the woman was British.
    When we were on holiday, we stayed at a hotel. Sometimes we ate at the hotel and sometimes we went to a restaurant.

Unit 72; Part B

galka.jpgWe use the when we are thinking of a specific thing. Compare a/an and the:

    Tim sat down on a chair.
  (perhaps one of many chairs in the room)
      Tim sat down on the chair nearest the door.
  (a specific chair)
    Paula is looking for a job.  (not a specific job)
     Did Paula get the job she applied for?
  (a specific job)
    Have you got a car?  (not a specific car)
      I cleaned the car yesterday.
  (= my car)

Unit 72; Part C

galka.jpgWe use the when it is clear in the situation which thing or person we mean.
For example, in a room we talk about the light / the floor / the ceiling / the door / the carpet etc. :
    Can you turn off the light, please? (= the light in this room)
    I took a taxi to the station.  (= the station in that town)
    (in a shop)  I'd like to speak to the manager, please.  (= the manager of this shop)

In the same way, we say (go to) the bank, the post office:

    I have to go to the bank and then I'm going to the post office.  (The speaker is usually thinking of a specific bank or post office.)

We also say (go to) the doctor / the dentist:

    Caroline isn't very well. She's gone to the doctor(= her usual doctor)
    I don't like going to the dentist.

Compare the and a:

    I have to go to the bank today. Is there a bank near here?
    I don't like going to the dentist. My sister is a dentist.

Unit 72; Part D

galka.jpgWe say 'once a week / three times a day / £1.50 a kilo' etc. :

    'How often do you go to the cinema?'    'About once a month.'
    'How much are those potatoes?'    '£1.50 a kilo.'
    Helen works eight hours a day, six days a week.


flag.jpgPut in a/an or the.
Key.1    ... and a magazine. The newspaper is in my bag, but I can't remember where I put the magazine.
2    I saw an accident this morning. A car crashed into a tree. Thedriver of the car wasn't hurt, but the car was badly damaged.
3    ... a blue one and a grey one. The blue one belongs to my neighbours; I don't know who the owner of the grey one is.
4    My friends live in an old house in a small village. There is abeautiful garden behind the house. I would like to have a garden likethat.

1    This morning I bought    a    newspaper and ______ magazine.
      ______  newspaper is in my bag, but I can't remember where I put ______ magazine.
2    I saw ______ accident this morning. ______ car crashed into ______ tree.
      ______ driver of ______ car wasn't hurt, but ______ car was badly damaged.
3    There are two cars parked outside: ______ blue one and ______ grey one.
      ______ blue one belongs to my neighbours; I don't know who ______ owner of ______ grey one is.
4    My friends live in ______ old house in ______ small village.
      There is ______ beautiful garden behind ______ house. I would like to have ______ garden like that.

flag.jpgPut in a/an or the.
Key.1  a    a
    b    the
    с    the
2  a    a
    b    a
    с    the
3  a    a
    b    the
    с    the
4  a    an ... The
    b    the
    с    the
5  a    the
    b    a
    с    a

1    a   This house is very nice. Has it got _________ garden?
     b   It's a beautiful day. Let's sit in _________ garden.
     с   I like living in this house, but it's a pity that _________ garden is so small.
2    a   Can you recommend _________ good restaurant?
     b   We had dinner in _________ very nice restaurant.
      c   We had dinner in _________ best restaurant in town.
3    a   She has _________ French name, but in fact she's English, not French.
     b  What's _________ name of that man we met yesterday?
     с   We stayed at a very nice hotel - I can't remember _________ name now.
4    a   There isn't _________ airport near where I live. _________ nearest airport is 70 miles away.
     b   Our flight was delayed. We had to wait at _________ airport for three hours.
     с   Excuse me, please. Can you tell me how to get to _________ airport?
5    a   'Are you going away next week?'    'No, _________ week after next.'
     b   I'm going away for _________ week in September.
     с   Gary has a part-time job. He works three mornings _________ week.
flag.jpgPut in a/an or the where necessary.
Key.2    the dentist
3    the door
4    a mistake
5    the bus station
6    a problem
7    the post office
8    the floor
9    the book
10  a job in a bank
11  a small flat in the city centre
12  a supermarket at the end of the street

1    Would you like apple?    Whould you like an apple?   
2    How often do you go to dentist? _____________________________
3    Could you close door, please? _____________________________
4    I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do that. It was mistake. _____________________________
5    Excuse me, where is bus station, please? _____________________________
6    I have problem. Can you help me? _____________________________
7    I'm just going to post office. I won't be long. _____________________________
8    There were no chairs, so we sat on floor. _____________________________
9    Have you finished with book I lent you? _____________________________
10  My sister has just got job in bank in Manchester. _____________________________
11  We live in small flat in city centre. _____________________________
12  There's supermarket at end of street I live in. _____________________________
flag.jpgAnswer these questions about yourself. Where possible, use the structure in Section D (once a week / three times a day etc.).
Key.Example answers:
3    About once a month.
4    Once or twice a year.
5    50 kilometres an hour.
6    About seven hours a night.
7    Two or three times a week.
8    About two hours a day.

1    How often do you go to the cinema?    Three or four times a year.   
2    How much does it cost to hire a car in your country?    About £ 20 a day.   
3    How often do you go to the cinema? _______________________
4    How often do you go away on holiday? _______________________
5    What's the usual speed limit in towns in your country? _______________________
6    How much sleep do you need? _______________________
7    How often do you go out in the evening? _______________________
8    How much television do you watch (on average)? _______________________

Unit 71      Unit 72     Unit 73 forward.jpg

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