Zero Article

Are you interested in 10 ready made lessons about the zero article,  indefinite and definite articles with Students' and Teacher's Notes?


Zero Article - We DO NOT use ‘the’ when we have a noun + number: 

Room 56, Platform 4, size 41, page 22, aisle 5

  •  We’ve booked you into Room 32, it’s at the front of the hotel with a lovely view.
  • Please turn to page 5 in your textbooks.
  • Do you have these shoes in size 39?

Times of the day, Days, Months & Years

We DO NOT use ‘the’ when referring to times of the day, particular days, years, seasons or months: 

dawn, dusk, daybreak, midday, 9.30pm, 5.45am, Monday, Wednesday, January, October, 1487, 2014

  • When we stay at the farm we have to get up at dawn.
  • In January, daybreak is at about 6.30am.
  • 1989 was a very important year in world history.

Note: We DO use ‘the’ when giving a particular date: the 25th of January, the 25th of December 1962


We DO NOT use ‘the’ when a noun refers to an activity:

Activity Object
I go to bed at 10 o'clock. I need to make the bed.
She went to school over there. The school was too small.
It’s great when families eat dinner together. The dinner had many exotic ingredients.
I eat muesli for breakfast. The breakfast was delicious.
They are on their way to church. The church is very old.
She is in class. The class is learning history at the moment.

Things in General

We DO NOT use articles (zero article) when referring to, or generalizing about a group of people or things:

General Specific
Doctors have awful writing. Have you seen the doctor yet?
Thai food is delicious. The Thai food at that new restaurant is delicious.
My favourite sport is tennis. Did you watch the tennis yesterday?
History was so boring when I was at school. The history of Poland is very interesting.
I often listen to music. I love the music on that radio station.
Sugar is very bad for you. Please pass me the sugar.



Exercise 1

Give the students the following set of words. Divide them into groups. They need to write a rap song in their groups, using all the words in the song (but make sure they use the articles correctly!). Get a brave student in each group to sing their song.  

room 45, dusk, church, dawn, school, breakfast, midday, lunch, brunch, aisle 4, history, teachers, platform 6, tennis

The above grammar presentation and activities are an extract from my e-notes on Definite and Indefinite Articles. I have written 10 step-by-step ready to teach and ready formatted lessons, with lots of fun writing and speaking activities for your students to practice. Find out more.

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  • 10 ready made lessons
  • Students' and Teacher's Notes
  • Answer Key
  • Grammar Presentations
  • Gap Fill Activities
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  • Uncountable Nouns
  • The definite & Indefinite Article
  • Zero Article
  • Authentic texts from the media
  • pdf format
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