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English Articles in Use. Артикли: объяснение, употребление, тренинг

Учебно-методическое пособие Учебное пособие
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Настоящее пособие представляет собой свод основных правил употребления артиклей с различными типами имен существительных в зависимости от выполняемой ими синтаксической функции в предложении. Функционально-прагматический подход позволяет объяснить, почему тот или иной артикль требуется в конкретной коммуникативной ситуации. Учебное пособие предназначено для студентов и преподавателей лингвистических вузов, а также для широкого круга читателей, изучающих английский язык.
Сергеева, Ю. М. English Articles in Use. Артикли: объяснение, употребление, тренинг: Учебно-методическое пособие Учебное пособие / Сергеева Ю.М. - Москва :МПГУ, 2012. - 204 с.: ISBN 978-5-7042-2360-3. - Текст : электронный. - URL: https://znanium.com/catalog/product/758059 (дата обращения: 25.07.2024). – Режим доступа: по подписке.
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МПГУ

Москва
2012

Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации 
федеральное государственное бюджетное образовательное 
учреждение высшего профессионального образования 
«Московский педагогический государственный университет»

English Articles in Use

Артикли: объяснение, употребление, 
тренинг

Ю. М. Сергеева

Учебное пособие

©  МПГУ, 2012 
©  Издательство «Прометей», 2012

Рецензенты:
Г. Н. Гумовская, проф., д-р филол. наук
Е. А. Никулина, проф., д-р филол. наук

Ответственный редактор: 
М. Я. Блох, проф., д-р филол. наук

С322   Сергеева Ю. М. English Articles in Use. Артикли: 
объяснение, употребление, тренинг. – М.: МПГУ, 2012. 
– 204 с.

Настоящее пособие представляет собой свод основных правил 
употребления артиклей с различными типами имен существительных 
в зависимости от выполняемой ими синтаксической функции в 
предложении. Функционально-прагматический подход позволяет 
объяснить, почему тот или иной артикль требуется в конкретной 
коммуникативной ситуации. 
Учебное пособие предназначено для студентов и преподавателей 
лингвистических вузов, а также для широкого круга читателей, 
изучающих английский язык. 

УДК  811.111’36(075.8) 
ББК  81.432.1923.2
       С322

ISBN 978-5-7042-2360-3

Содержание

n2 ="2%!= . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Chapter 1. The article and the category of 
determination. Types of attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

1.1. The article as a nominal determiner . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.2. Descriptive and limiting attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.2.1. Types of attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.2.2. Attributes expressed by adjectives . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.2.3. Attributes expressed by the pronoun other . . . 11
1.2.4. Attributes expressed by numerals . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.2.5. Attributes expressed by nouns in the 
common case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
1.2.6. Attributes expressed by nouns in the 
possessive case  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1.2.7. Attributes expressed by participles . . . . . . . . . 15
1.2.8. Attributes expressed by the infinitive . . . . . . . . 15
1.2.9. Attributes expressed by the gerund. . . . . . . . . 15
1.2.10. Attributes expressed by prepositional 
nominal phrases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
1.2.11. Attributes expressed by subordinate clauses . . 18
1.3. The place of the article in a nominal phrase  . . . 19

Chapter 2. The indefinite article. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

2.1. Forms of the indefinite article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
2.2. The indefinite article with common countable 
nouns.The functions of the indefinite article  . . . 23
2.2.1. The classifying function of the indefinite article.  23
2.2.2. The generic function of the indefinite article  . . 24
2.2.3. The numerical function of the indefinite article . 25

2.3. The indefinite article with material nouns . . . . . . 26
2.4. The indefinite article with abstract nouns  . . . . . 26
2.5. The indefinite article with unique objects . . . . . . 28
2.6. The indefinite article with some semantic 
groups of nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
2.6.1. The indefinite article with nouns denoting seasons. 28
2.6.2. The indefinite article with nouns denoting 
parts of the day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
2.6.3. The indefinite article with names of meals . . . . 29
2.6.4. The indefinite article with names of diseases . . 30
2.6.5. The indefinite article with nouns bed, school, 
hospital, church, prison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

2.7. The indefinite article with proper names . . . . . . 31

Chapter 3. The definite article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
3.1. The definite article with common nouns  . . . . . . 33
3.1.1. The specifying function of the definite article . . 33
3.1.1.1. The limiting attribute. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
3.1.1.2. The contextual situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
3.1.1.3. The definite article with unique objects  . . . . . . 35

3.1.2. The generic function of the definite article . . . . 36
3.1.2.1. The definite article with countable nouns . . . . . 36
3.1.2.2. The definite article with collective nouns  . . . . . 37
3.1.2.3. The definite article with substantivized adjectives . 38
3.2. The definite article with material nouns . . . . . . . 39
3.3. The definite article with abstract nouns . . . . . . . 40
3.4. The definite article with some semantic 
groups of nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

3.4.1. The definite article with nouns denoting seasons . 40
3.4.2. The definite article with nouns denoting 
parts of the day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
3.4.3. The definite article with names of meals . . . . . 42
3.4.4. The definite article with names of diseases . . . 42
3.4.5. The definite article with nouns bed, school, 
college, university, hospital, church, prison, 
jail, table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
3.4.6. The definite article with the noun sea  . . . . . . . 43
3.5. The definite article with proper names  . . . . . . . 43
3.5.1. The definite article with geographical names . . 43
3.5.2. The definite article with miscellaneous 
proper names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
3.6. The situational use of the definite article 
with proper names  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Chapter 4. The meaningful absence of the article . . . . . . . . . 51
4.1. The zero article in the function of absolute 
generalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
4.2. The zero article with material nouns . . . . . . . . . 51
4.3. The zero article with collective nouns . . . . . . . . 52
4.4. The zero article with abstract nouns . . . . . . . . . 52
4.5. The meaningful absence of the article 
with some semantic groups of nouns . . . . . . . . 54
4.5.1. The zero article with nouns denoting seasons . . 54
4.5.2. The zero article with nouns denoting 
parts of the day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
4.5.3. The zero article with nouns denoting 
names of meals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.5.4. The zero article with names of diseases  . . . . . 56
4.5.5. The zero article with names of sciences 
and school subjects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
4.5.6. The zero article with names of sports 
and games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

4.5.7. The zero article with nouns school, college, 
hospital, etc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
4.5.8. The zero article with nouns town, space, society . 58

4.6. The zero article with proper names. . . . . . . . . . 59
4.6.1. The zero article with geographical names . . . . 59
4.6.2. The zero article with miscellaneous 
proper names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
4.6.3. The zero article with names of persons . . . . . . 62

4.7. Contextually bound absence of the article . . . . . 63

Chapter 5. Articles with nouns in various syntactic functions . . 64

5.1. Syntactic structure and actual division 
of a sentence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
5.2. Articles with nouns in the function of the subject . . 65
5.3. Articles with nouns in the predicative function . . 67
5.4. Articles with nouns in the function of an object . 70
5.5. Articles with nouns in apposition  . . . . . . . . . . . 72
5.6. Articles with nouns used as adverbial modifiers  . 73
5.6.1. Articles with nouns used as an adverbial 
modifier of place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
5.6.2. Articles with nouns used as an adverbial 
modifier of time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
5.6.3. Articles with nouns used as an adverbial 
modifier of manner  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
5.6.4. Articles with nouns used as an adverbial 
modifier of comparison  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
5.7. Articles with nouns used as direct address . . . . 77
5.8. Articles with nouns used as parenthesis . . . . . . 78

Exercises to chapter 1. Limiting and descriptive attributes . . 79

Exercises to chapters 2, 3, 4. The indefinite article. 
The definite article. The zero article . . . . . . . . . . .112

Exercises to chapter 5. Articles with nouns in various 
syntactic functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203

От автора

Студенты, изучающие английский язык, часто испытывают затруднения, решая, где и какой артикль употребить, 
поскольку в русском языке данное грамматическое явление 
отсутствует как таковое. Пытаясь избежать этой проблемы, 
они либо вообще не употребляют никакие артикли с именами существительными, либо заменяют их притяжательными и неопределенными местоимениями. В ряде случаев это 
помогает, но далеко не всегда. Студенты также говорят, что 
правила употребления артиклей не кажутся им логичными, 
и часто жалуются, что в некоторых ситуациях возможен любой из трех вариантов: неопределенный, определенный, нулевой артикль, и это очень запутывает. 
Да, варианты возможны. Да, коммуникативных ситуаций 
великое множество. Да, некоторые правила требуют неоднократного повторения и, не побоимся этого слова, зазубривания. Да, правильное употребление артиклей в английском 
языке достигается не за один год. Но разве человека, желающего овладеть грамотной литературной и разговорной речью 
на иностранном языке, могут остановить незначительные 
трудности на пути к поставленной цели? Конечно, нет!
Настоящее пособие предлагает студентам-лингвистам 
и всем изучающим английский язык реальную помощь в усвоении основных правил употребления артиклей с различными типами имен существительных, в зависимости от выполняемой ими синтаксической функции в предложении. При 
таком подходе артикль воспринимается не как чужеродная 
грамматическая единица в структуре высказывания, а как 
его органическая часть. Два раздела грамматики – морфология и синтаксис демонстрируют в данном случае свое логичное взаимодействие и помогают учащимся сделать правильный выбор.
Поскольку наличие определения при имени существительном играет огромную роль в выборе артикля, первая глава 
пособия представляет подробное описание всех возможных 
вариантов атрибутивных сочетаний и устанавливает связь 
между типом определения и постановкой артикля. Функционально-прагматический подход позволяет объяснить, почему 
тот или иной артикль требуется в конкретной коммуникативной ситуации. 
В пособии предлагаются основные модели употребления 
артиклей с именами собственными, включая имена людей, 
географические названия, названия государственных орга
От автора

низаций и коммерческих структур, вокзалов и аэропортов, 
учебных заведений разных типов, театров и музеев, газет 
и журналов, и т. д. При этом все названия, приведенные в иллюстративных примерах, реальные, существующие в современном английском языке.
Большое внимание уделяется употреблению артикля с отдельными семантическими группами имен существительных, 
традиционно вызывающими значительные трудности у изучающих английский язык. Времена года, части дня, названия приемов пищи, вещества, абстрактные понятия и другие 
подклассы существительных подробно рассмотрены на страницах этой книги.
Упражнения, предлагаемые в настоящем пособии, по своей цели разбиты на три группы: упражнения на первичное 
закрепление материала (подстановочные и переводные), 
упражнения на развитие коммуникативных навыков и контрольные упражнения, позволяющие систематизировать 
пройденный материал. Лексико-грамматическое наполнение упражнений позволит студентам существенно расширить 
свой словарный запас. 
В заключение отметим, что артикль – это способ соотносить 
предметное понятие с речевой ситуацией, и избирается он каждый раз согласно конкретной ситуации общения. При этом 
существует свод правил, определяющих желательность 
употребления того или иного артикля в определенных 
случаях, и настоящее пособие призвано помочь студентам 
сделать правильный выбор в соответствии с логикой развития дискурса.
Автор

Chapter 1

The article and the category of 
determination. Types of attributes

1.1. The Article as a Nominal Determiner

Among grammatical categories of the English noun an important place is occupied by the category of determination which 
requires a compulsory correlation of the noun with a certain determiner – a word that somehow specifi es its contextual meaning. Determiners are placed before a noun to clarify its nominal 
referent. The word «people» by itself is a general reference to 
some group of human beings. If someone says «these people», 
we know which group they are talking about, and if they say «a 
lot of people» we know how big the group is. Determiners of the 
noun are represented by articles and some classes of pronouns – 
indefi nite, demonstrative, possessive, interrogative.
In certain contextual situations determiners are interchangeable. Thus to indicate a particular object the defi nite article or the 
pronoun this / that may be applied. To simply name an object (to 
single it out of the class of similar objects) we use the indefi nite 
article, the indefi nite pronouns some / any or the numeral one. 
The article is the most universal and multifunctional means 
of determination. The system of English articles includes three 
grammatical forms.
The indefi nite article serves to refer an object to the class 
of similar objects regardless of its individual features. The indefi nite article has developed from the numeral one and that is why 
it mostly occurs before countable nouns in the singular.
The defi nite article is used to specify and identify an object. 
Originating from the O.E. demonstrative pronoun that it occurs before countable and uncountable nouns in the singular or in the plural.
The zero article is the meaningful absence of the article 
which expresses absolute generalization.

1.2. Descriptive and limiting attributes

1.2.1. Types of attributes

Since the choice of the article depends in most cases on the 
context we should take into consideration the types of attributes 

CHAPTER 1

modifying the noun because they constitute an important part 
of the contextual situation. There are two classes of attributes: 
limiting and descriptive.
A limiting attribute points out such a quality of an object (a 
number of objects) which makes it distinct from all other objects 
of the same class or kind. Nouns modifi ed by limiting attributes 
are used with the defi nite article in its specifying function.
Is this the tin you were looking for? 
— It was in the very place where you put it, in the shed.
He locked the door leading to the hall.
A descriptive attribute expresses a characteristic feature of 
an object or gives some additional information about it. This attribute does not single out an object and does not affect the use of 
articles; therefore nouns with descriptive attributes may be used 
with both the indefi nite and the defi nite article. 
Compare the following:
Bart tossed an empty cigarette packet over the rail.
On the evening of Labour Day, the empty fi eld near the mills 
was no longer empty.
He had met a young woman at the party, a moving-picture 
actress.
He knew pretty well how to get rid of the young woman clamoring to be his wife.
The above-given examples prove the fact that taken by themselves most attributes are neutral and only in certain contextual 
conditions they acquire the descriptive or the limiting force.
Attributes are expressed by separate words belonging to different parts of speech, by word combinations or subordinate 
clauses. Attributes may stand in preposition or in postposition to 
the noun they modify.
The most typical attributes expressed by single words are adjectives, nouns in the common case, nouns in the possessive case, 
cardinal and ordinal numerals, certain classes of pronouns, and 
verbals – the infi nitive, the gerund and the participle.

1.2.2. Attributes expressed by adjectives

Attributes expressed by adjectives may be either limiting or 
descriptive which depends solely on the context.
Most adjectives are descriptive attributes and thus do not 
affect the choice of the article which is accounted for by the situation but not by the attribute. The noun modifi ed by one and the 
same adjective can be used with the indefi nite and the defi nite 
article:

CHAPTER 1

It was a hot summer and the lodging houses were full in Epsom.
It was the hot summer of their last meeting.
Adjectives in the superlative degree, however, are always limiting attributes.
That’s the most diffi cult task I’ve ever fulfi lled.
He’s the best-educated man in our company.

Note 1. When the word most is an adverb of degree (крайне, 
чрезвычайно, очень) and is used to intensify the meaning of the 
adjective the whole combination is a descriptive attribute and, 
consequently, requires the indefi nite article:
She is a most lovely girl.
It was a most unpleasant talk for all of them.

Note 2. When most precedes the countable noun in the plural 
or the uncountable noun in the singular and it means the greatest number of (большинство), the word combination is used 
with the zero article:
Most legendary fi gures are remembered long after their 
time. – Память о большинстве легендарных личностей 
жива и после их смерти.
Most good wine improves with keeping. – В большинстве 
своем хорошее вино делается с годами лишь лучше.

Note 3. Memorize set phrases a best suit (выходной костюм) 
and a best seller (ходкая, популярная книга). 

There are adjectives in English which almost always serve as 
limiting attributes due to their semantics: right (тот, который 
нужен, правильный), wrong, same, only, very, main, principal, left, right (правый), central, following, coming, 
present, former, latter, last, next.
You are the very man I need in such a situation.
You might have dialed the wrong number.
Are you anxious about the coming events?
The only difference in their habits was that he used his fork 
with the left hand.

Note 4. Adjectives last and next before nouns denoting periods of time (day, night, morning, week, year, etc.) are used with 
the zero article:
I went to the Alps last winter, and I am going there next year too.
If the situation refers to the past the adjective next can be 
used with the defi nite article which is, however, optional:

CHAPTER 1

He decided to re-read the play the next day after he had 
thought about it for twenty-four hours.
If the adjectives last and next are followed by the cardinal 
numeral the article should be defi nite:
Find out what happened to my daughter in the last six 
months.

Note 5. The adjective only is a descriptive attribute and is 
used with the indefi nite article before nouns child, son, daughter.
Are you an only child?
He was an only son of wealthy parents and so heir to everything.

Note 6. Adjective pronouns all and whole are considered descriptive attributes. Consequently, the choice of the article depends fully on the context. Thus whole in the meaning of «один» 
is combined with the indefi nite article but in the meaning of «весь 
целиком» — with the defi nite article.
The wedding feast lasted a whole week (одну неделю).
We spent the whole evening playing chess (целый вечер).
Adjectives proper, previous, usual, opposite, necessary, 
lower, upper, so-called, adjacent, alleged etc. may be both 
limiting and descriptive attributes, though the latter is less frequent. 
But all the previous criticism of her conduct was as nothing 
compared with the buzz of gossip that now went through the town.
These are just the usual papers.
Sometimes the adjective is postpositional to the noun and in 
this case serves a limiting attribute to it. Postposition is typical 
of such adjectives as absent, present, proper, and also of some 
participles: involved, concerned, etc.

Note 7. Memorize the following set phrases with postpositional 
adjectives. Consider the use of the zero article with the noun: 
president elect, heir apparent, postmaster general, attorney general, envoy extraordinary, notary public, princess royal, etc.

1.2.3. Attributes expressed by the pronoun other

The noun in the singular or in the plural form can be modifi ed 
by the pronoun other. The defi nite article is used in the following cases:
1) when two similar objects are juxtaposed:

CHAPTER 1

My house is on the other side of the street.
Have you seen the other glove of mine?
2) when two groups of similar objects are juxtaposed. In this 
case the combination «other + the noun» has the meaning «the 
rest, the remaining» (все остальные). If the speaker, however, 
is not sure whether all the remaining objects are meant the zero 
article is used.
When I came home only two of my friends were there. The other guests had already left.
Some people like plain chocolate, other people prefer bonbons.

The indefi nite article is spelt as one word with the pronoun 
other and has the following meanings:
different from the one meant (другой):
The dress is too tight on you, try another one.
You are too good a specialist for this job. You should fi nd another one.
one more of the same kind, additional (еще один):
Would you have another drink?
I waited for another moment and then clapped the door 
open.

Note 1. The same rule works when other is used as a noun 
pronoun.
She has two sons: one goes to school and the other is still a 
baby.
If this pen won’t write, try another.
That may be your opinion but the others think differently. 
You should consider their point of view.
Some people were sure he had died, others thought that he 
had left the country.

1.2.4. Attributes expressed by numerals

Cardinal numerals are always descriptive attributes and thus 
the noun is used with the zero article. 
Two boys came running along the street.
She put three spoonfuls of sugar into a second cup of tea.
The use of the defi nite article in such word combinations depends solely on the context, namely on the fact if the object is 
already mentioned or if it has a limiting attribute.
Everything they had done in the three weeks since they had 
come back brought him disappointment only.

CHAPTER 1

She lay awake watching the two girls chatting to each other 
in lowered voices.
For the fi rst two days of the fi ve, she was in a state of shock.
Ordinal numerals are usually limiting attributes.
For the fi rst time I saw him uncertain and worried.
But on the fi fth day he took the car to the third fl oor, stepped 
out and never came back.

Note 1. The noun is used with the zero article when the ordinal numeral follows it:
He put volume one of the novel back into the bookcase.
Turn to page sixty-two to check your results.
The meeting is held in Room four.

Note 2. The ordinal numeral in the meaning «one more», 
«another» requires the indefi nite article:
He knew he should have a third try.
He had to look a second time to be sure that she was not in 
truth a shadow.

Note 3. Memorize the following set phrases: a fi rst night, a 
fi rst (second, third) prize, a second breath, a fi fth wheel.
Has it slipped your memory that I’ve got a fi rst night tonight?
Everyone seemed to have a specifi c role except me. I felt like a 
fi fth wheel.

Most idiomatic expressions of adverbial character are used 
with the zero article: (at) fi rst hand, at fi rst sight, on second 
thought, second to none, in seventh heaven, etc. 

1.2.5. Attributes expressed by nouns in the 
common case

Attributes expressed by nouns in the common case are usually descriptive and thus the indefi nite article is required. 
There was a telephone line running along the road.
He leaned the sacks one on each side of a tree trunk.
How much do you pay for a music lesson?
The use of the defi nite article is generally due to the context. 
Sometimes it is affected by the semantics of the noun which is a 
proper name. 
He called the observation post but no one answered.