the аrticle is the pаrt of speech thаt contаins only two
words it presents a greаt difficulty for a student of English. A foreigner cаn аlwаys be told by
his wrong use of аrticle. Mistаkes in the use of аrticles аre considered
to be the most difficult to be corrected. Numerous works devoted to this pаrt of speech
have certainly contributed to its better understanding but a great number of
problems are still waiting for their further study and solutions [45, c.49]. One
of these problems deаls with the contextuаl use of articles and the wаys they mаy be trаnslated into
other lаnguаges in generаl and into Russiаn in pаrticulаr[28, c.74;
39, 59].reseаrch is topicаl for a number of reаsons. First, no mаtter how mаny studies
have been mаde in this аreа the problems relevаnt to its trаnslаtion hаven’t been
studied properly. Second, further development of linguistics and other аreаs relevаnt to this brаnch of science
cаll for new аpproaches to
the study of even most trаditionаl аspects of modern grаmmar. In аddition, the
study of articles аnd their contextual meаning and wаys they are trаnslаted into other
lаnguаges is of greаt vаlue of teаching methods
[39, c.83].object of this reseаrch is English аrticles.subject of the
reseаrch is a study
of use of English articles in various contexts such as narrow, wide and
extralinguistic (extralinguistic) context and its translation into Russian.goal
of our work is to make a systematic study of English articles, their contextual
use and ways they are translated into Russian.compliance with the goal the
following objectives are to be solved:
1. To determine the place of the English
articles in the system of the English language and to cover some theoretical
questions concerned with the object of the research.
2. To study a typical use of articles and
its special difficulties.
. To analyze contextual meanings of the
English articles and ways of their translation into Russian.
. To develop a set of exercises aimed at
improving students’ skills in the use of the English articles.goal and the
objectives of the research determine the structure of our work. consists of an
introduction, 3 parts, conclusion and a list of literature.than 52 manuals,
articles and other types of educational and research papers served as the
material for our analyses. Besides, the use of articles in the works of W.S.
Maugham, J. London and their translation served for our analyses in the
practical part of the work.set of linguistic methods including a descriptive, analytical,
contextual analysis was used in the course of our study. In addition a
translational method was intensively used while analyzing the contextual
peculiarities of the article and determining typical ways of their translation
into Russian.results obtained in the course of our research were practical and
theoretical techniques which were widely used in the course of my practice at
the company in Karaganda. first part of the work deals with the general
theoretical principles relevant to the English article and to the description
of its traditional difficulties. Part II is devoted to the study of contextual
semantic characteristics of English articles and the ways they are trаnslated into
1. Article as a part of
speech. Theoretical and practical aspects
1.1 Definition of the
аrticle definite indefinite
The issues relevant to the nature of the English
article have been the focus of attention of early descriptive English Grammar
books since the 16th century and it is intensively studied nowadays.the 16th
-18th centuries the article was considered as a noun determiner. There was,
however, a different point of view when the article was included into the
adjective. Besides, there existed different approaches to English articles.
According to G. Mironets, the article was considered as part of the Noun, as a
separate part of speech and as a particle. The terms ”definite” and
”indefinite” were first used by J.Howell in 1662 [45, c.56].
Being aware of numerous
points of view regarding the status of the article in the English language we
share the view presented by B. Khaimovich and B. Rogovskaya who considered the
article a separate part of speech. They consider that the two words a(an), the
form a separate group or class characterized by:
lexico-grammatical meaning of ”(in)definiteness”,
b) the right-hand
combinability with nouns,) the function of noun specifiers [52,
c.214]lexical meaning of a(n) in Modern English is a very weak reminder of its
original meaning (OE. an=one). In spite of the long process of weakening there
remains enough of the original meaning in a(n) to exclude the possibility of
its being attached to a ”plural” noun.lexical meaning of the in Modern English
is a pale shadow of its original demonstrative meaning.general
lexico-grammatical meaning of these words, as usual, is not identical with
their individual lexical meanings. It abstracts itself from the meaning of
”oneness” in a(n) and the ”demonstrative” meaning in the. Perhaps, the names of
the articles (”definite”, ”indefinite”) denote the nearest approach to this
lexico-grammatical meaning, which, for lack of a better term, might be defined
as that of ”definiteness-indefiniteness” [52, c.215].article is a form word
that serves as a noun determiner. It is one of the main means of conveying the
idea of definiteness and indefiniteness.suggests that the object presented by
the following noun is individualized and singled out from all the other objects
of the same kind, whereas indefiniteness means a more general reference to an
object [20, c.75].lexical meaning of the English articles is determined by its
historical development. That is why after considering the historical
development of the English articles their rendering into Russian becomes
obvious. Under the influence of the historical processes that took place both
in phonetical and grammatical structure of the English language the article as
a part of speech has undergone major changes. Its origin goes deep into the
history of the English language both definite and indefinite articles. This
explains the fact that when translating articles we get equivalents (in other
languages) of various types. That is why we consider it necessary to present
all stages of the historical formation of the English article.
1.2 The historical
development of the English articles. The definite article
The infinitive in
Northumbrian often loses its final -n and ends in -a: drinca 'drink', sinza
'sing'. The 1st person singular present indicative ends in -u, -o (for
West-Saxon -e): ic drincu 'I drink', ic sinzo 'I sing'. The 2nd person singular
present indicative and the 2nd person singular past indicative of weak verbs
often ends in -s (for West-Saxon -si): pu drinces 'thou drinkest', pu lufodes
'thou lo-vedst'. This means that the initial consonant of the pronoun 'pu did
not join on to the verb forms. The 3rd person singular present indicative also,
often ends in -s: he drinces 'he drinks'. The plural indicative present often
takes the ending -as for West-Saxon -ap: hia drincas 'they drink'.cause of this
spread of the -s-ending is not clear. It may have been partly influenced by the
form is of the verb wsan.1st participle sometimes has the suffix -ande (for
West-Saxon -ende). This is due to Scandinavian influence.plural present
indicative of the verb wesan is arun (for West-Saxon sind).strong verbs become
weak in Northumbrian. Thus class I verbs: stizan 'ascend' has stizede; zripan
'catch' zripede, hrinan 'touch' hrinade; class II verbs: reocan 'smell' has
reohte, supan 'taste' supede; class III: bindan 'bind' has binde, drinzan
'insist' drinzde, swinzan an 'swing' swinzde, war pan 'throw' worpade,
strxz-dan 'sow' strx^de, frejnan 'ask' fre^nade; class VI verbs: hebban 'lift'
has hefde; class VII verbs: slsepan 'sleep' has slsepte, ondrsedan 'dread'
ondnedde, sceadan 'divide' sccadade.these phenomena show that in Northumbrian a
reduction of inflections was taking place in the ОС period already. This was
probably partly due to Scandinavian influence.and head word.attribute usually
precedes its head word, e. g. enzlisc zewrit 'English text', onzemanz oрurum
mistlicum and manizfealdum bisum 'among other various and manifold affairs', hu
zesжlizlica tida 'what happy times', se foresprecena hunzur 'the
above-mentioned famine', ealle орrе bec 'all other books', жfter forрyrnendre tide 'after the passing
time'. However, a numeral attribute may follow its head word, e. g. his suna
twezen 'his two sons', рone naman anne 'the name alone'; also рa bee ealle 'all
the books'.attribute often follows its head word when used in direct address:
wine mm 'my friend', fre-drihten min 'my lord', Beowulf leofa 'dear Beowulf. An
attribute consisting of the pronoun se and an adjective also follows its head
word: Sidroc eorl se alda 'earl Sidroc senior'.genitive attribute usually
precedes its head word: para cyninza zetruman 'the kings' troops', Norрmanna
land 'the Northmen's land', Seaxna peod 'the Saxons' people', monizra manna mod
'many people's mood'. But sometimes it comes after its head word: on oрre
healfe pжre ea 'on the oilier side of the riverstudying the declension of
substantives in ME, we have to consider the Southern dialects, on the one hand,
and the Midland and Northern, on the other.the Southern dialects, distinction
between genders and between strong and weak declensions was to some extent
preserved, but differences between various types of strong declension were
obliterated. Later, distinction of genders was weakened in connection with the
development of the definite article, which lost its declension altogether.
Parenthesis means that
the sound in question could drop. A second form coming after a comma means that
alongside of the first form due to phonetic development a second one appeared,
due to analogy.feminine substantives, weak declension endings (-en, -ene)
spread from the weak to other declension types; in the singular the -ii-cnding
was dropped, and all eases of the singular number had the endmg -e. The -e was
also joined on to substantives with a long root syllable, which had no ending
in Hie nominative singular, such as iir 'honour', synn 'sin'. Only a few
substantives remain outside this tendency, such as hond 'hand', might 'might',
cow 'cow'.a result of these changes the following system of declension arose:
The -en-ending of the
plural was also extended to two neuter substantives which had in OE belonged to
the -es-stems, viz., child 'child' and el 'egg'. In OE the nominative plural of
these substantives had been cildru and жzru; now they were changed into
children and eiren.declension of substantives with a root stem, which had
mutation in the dative singular and in the nominative and accusative plural,
developed in ME Southern dialects in the following way:
The substantive boc
'book' lost its mutated forms: its plural is boken, bakes. The substantive burh
'borough' lost mutation in the dative singular and in the nominative and
accusative plural. The dative singular form byriz > buri, biri, beri
survived only as the second component of compound nouns - names of towns, which
originally had the form of the dative case, such as Canterbury <OE
Cantwarabyriz, dative of Cantwaraburz; Atter-bury < at pжer byriz 'at the
city'.and midland dialects.Northern and Midland dialects all distinctions
between different stems of strong declension and between strong and weak
declension, and those between genders disappeared. The genitive singular ending
of the ston and dor type substantives spread to all substantives; this also
applies to the nominative and accusative ending -es (< OE -as) of the
nominative and accusative plural ot the ston type substantives; it also spread
to the genitive plural of all substantives.14-century literary English (Chaucer
and Gower), developed from Midland dialect, the following declension system is
Substantives in -f and -th
keep the alternation of voiceless and voiced consonants, e.g. lif 'life', gen.
sing, lives, plural lives; path 'path', gen. sing, pathes [р], plural pathes [р].substantives
with a root stem, which had mutation in the nominative and accusative plural,
have the following system of declension-
Thus mutation is
grammaticalized as a sign of plural number.neuter substantives preserved their
nominative accusative plural form without an ending: thing, yer, hors, shep,
swin, der. As will be readily seen, some of them are names of animals. Some
masculine and feminine substantives also preserved plural forms without ending,
e.g. winter, night. Gradually, however, the -es-ending penetrates into these
words: thinges, yeres, monthes.substantives which belonged to the weak
declension preserve their -n-plural: oxe - oxen; eye, ye - eyen, yen; fo - fon;
to - ton. The substantive sceoh 'shoe', which had been a strong declension
substantive in OE, acquired an -n-plural in ME: sho - shon. The weak en-ending
also spread to the substantives brother -brethren, doghter - doghtren, and
stister - snstren. Meanings which had been expressed by case endings now
devolve to prepositions, in the first place of (for the genitive), to and wip
for the dative.pronoun.OE forms of the demonstrative pronoun (or definite
article) se, seo were changed into pe, peo on the analogy of the forms derived
from the root p-. In Early ME forms like pe, peo, pat functioned both as
demonstrative pronoun and as article. Since the 14th century, however, the form
pat was only preserved as a demonstrative pronoun form., the declension system
of the pronoun was undergoing changes. The form pos (from OE pas, nominative
and accusative plural of the OE demonstrative pronoun pes) became the plural of
Early ME declension.
However, in the 13th
century declension of the definite article tends to disappear. Thus, while we
find in Layamon's Brut (about 1200) phrases like to pan kinge (OE to pжm
cyninze), mid pan flode (OE mid pжm flode), the Апогеи Riwle has, alongside of
of pen epple (OE of рагт жpple) mid te word (te
assimilated from pe after mid; OE mid ржт worde). Similar changes
occur in other case and gender forms. In Late ME the definite article finally
The other demonstrative pronoun, OE pes,
developed in the following way in ME: singular this (from the OE nominative and
accusative singular pis), plural thise, these; singular that (from the OE
nominative and accusative singular neuter pжt), plural tho, thos
of adjectives underwent substantial changes in ME. Declension of adjectives had
always been determined by agreement with substantives in number, gender and
case. In Germanic languages the use of strong and weak adjective declension
depended on whether the adjective was preceded by the definite article or a
similar word, or not. The disappearance of grammatical gender in ME
substantives and the reduction of case endings led to a considerable change in
adjective declension, too. Besides, the characteristic weak-declension ending
-en was dropped. So the only case ending in adjectives came to be -e, and the
highly developed OE paradigm was reduced to the following system:
In the Northern dialects, declension of
adjectives was completely lost: the only surviving case ending -e was dropped,
and the adjectives became invariable. the other dialects adjectives in -e
became invariable, such as newe, trewe.
The indefinite article.
Numeralsfrom 1 to 3 are
declined.from 4 to 19 are usually invariable, if used as attributes to a
substantive, but they are declined if used without a substantive. Numerals
denoting tens have their genitive in -es or in -a, -ra, their dative in -um.
The word 'both' bezen,
bu, ba is declined in the same way as twezen, tu, twa.consisting of tens and
units are denoted in the following way: 22 twa and twentiz, 48 eahta and
feowertiz.pronoun sum 'some' is sometimes used in a meaning close to the
articles as in the sentence: wses sum bropor '(there) was a (certain) brother'
pa stod him sum топ set purh swefn 'then (there) stood a (certain) man near him
in his dream'., however, a substantive in an indefinite application is not
accompanied by any determinative, as in the sentence he was swype spediz man
'he was a very rich man'.a few words the consonant v when followed by another
consonant changed into u, as in hafoc, gen. sing, hafces > havkes >
haukes and on the analogy of the genitive haukes a new nominative hauk was
derived; nafozar > navgar > nauger 'auger'.word eventually lost its
initial n- as a result of what is called metanalysis: the phrase a nauger was,
as it were, reinterpreted as an auger, with the intial n- of the substantive
apprehended as a final n of the indefinite article.are more examples of this
kind of metanalysis. A substantive might either lose or acquire an initial n-.
Thus OE ejete 'newt' acquired an initial n- owing to a reinterpretation of an
ewte as a newte in ME. The ME substantive ekename 'additional name', 'nickname'
also acquired an initial n-: an ekename > a nekename. The ME substantive
naperon (from French naperon), on the other hand, lost its initial n-: a naperon
> an apron.similar phenomenon is also found in some substantives whose final
-s, originally belonging to the stem, was apprehended as a plural ending. Thus,
OE жlmesse 'alms' (from Lat. alimosina from Greek eleemosyne 'pity') yielded ME
alines > MnE alms; ME richesse (from French richesse) yielded MnE riches,
apprehended as a plural form; OE byrzels 'grave' - ME buriel, MnE burial (it
was also influenced by its synonym funeral, of French origin); French cerise,
cherise yielded ME and MnE cherry.
In ME an indefinite article arose. As in many
other languages, it had its origin in the numeral an 'one'. First signs of such
development were already seen in OE. Then long a in an unstressed position was
shortened, and there appeared an unstressed variant an. When the long ”a”
changed into long open 9 the numeral became on; the divergence in sound between
the stressed and the unstressed form furthered the separation of the article
from the numeral.
When on or an was
followed by a word beginning with a consonant, the -n was dropped, and there
arose the variants o, a. With the numeral, this alternation was later
abandoned, and the form ”on” came to be used in all environments. With the
indefinite article, the alternation of an and a depending on the initial sound
of the following word has been preserved until today.that the word the has its
counterpart in the word a(n) it is possible to say that English has an article
system represented by two words: a/an and the.OE, as we have seen, an article
appeared when the meaning of the demonstrative pronoun was weakened. In this
way a new grammatical category within the system of substantives came into
being: the category of determination, represented by the opposition:
article/absence of article.ME we see a further development in this field: a
second article appears here from the OE numeral an. This development must be
interpreted as a split in the category of determination, its marked member now
splits into two varieties: the definite represented by the article the (from OE
se, with substitution of initial s- by th- influenced by other case forms,
which were derived from the root p-in OE already). Thus, the whole system of
determination may be represented in the following way: 1st opposition: no
article (unmarked) vs. article (marked); 2nd opposition: within the second item
of the 1st opposition: definite article the vs. indefinite article a(n). The
difference between OE and ME in this respect can well be illustrated by
comparing the OE examples given above with the following example from Chaucer's
Canterbury Tales, with the same substantive man:was an esy man to yive penaunce
'He was an easy man to absolve sins'.the indefinite article a was used in a
context in which in OE there had been no article at all.conclusion, the article
a(n) has become a part of the system having the same position as the article
the, is confirmed by the fact such sentences as he was easy man have become
impossible by Chaucer's time [1, c.174].
1.3 Article determination
Article is a determining
unit of a specific nature accompanying the noun in communicative collocation.
Its special character is clearly seen against the background of determining
words of half-notional semantics [50, c. 179]. Whereas the function of the determiners
such as this, any, some is to explicitly interpret the referent of the noun in
relation to other objects or phenomena of a like kind, the semantic purpose of
the article is to specify the nounal referent, as it were, altogether
unostentatiously, to define it in the most general way, without any explicitly
expressed contrasts.becomes obvious when we take the simplest examples ready at
hand. Cf.: Will you give me this pen, Willy? (i.e. the pen that I am pointing
out, not one of your choice.) - Will you give me the pen, please? (i.e. simply
the pen from the desk, you understand which). Any blade will do, I only want it
for scratching out the wrong word from the type-script. (i.e. any blade of the
stock, however blunt it -may be.) - Have you got something sharp? I need a
penknife of' a blade. (i.e. simply a blade, if not a knife, without additional
implications.) Some woman called in your absence, she didn't give her name
(i.e. a woman strange to me). - A woman called while you were out, she left a
message (i.e. simply a woman, without a further connotation.)peculiarity of the
article, as different from the determiners in question, is that, in the absence
of a determiner, the use of the article with the noun is quite obligatory, in
so far as the cases of non-use of the article are subject to no less definite
rules than the use of it.into consideration these peculiar features of the
article, the linguist is called upon to make a sound statement about its
segmental status in the system of morphology. Namely, his task is to decide
whether the article is a purely auxiliary element of a special grammatical form
of the noun which functions as a component of a definite morphological
category, or it is a separate word, i.e. a lexical unit in the determiner word set,
if of a more abstract meaning than other determiners.problem is a vexed one; it
has inspired an intensive research activity in the field, as well as an
animated discussion with various pros and cons affirmed, refuted and
re-affirmed. In the course of these investigations, however, many positive
facts about articles have been established, which at present enables an
observer, proceeding from the systemic principle in its paradigmatic
interpretation, to expose the status of the article with an attempt at demonstrative
conviction.arrive at a definite decision, we propose to consider the properties
of the English articles at four successive stages, beginning with their
semantic evaluation as such, then adding to the obtained data a situational
estimation of their uses, thereafter analysing their categorial features in the
light of the oppositional theory, and finally concluding the investigation by a
paradigmatic generalization.mere semantic observation of the articles in
English, i.e. the definite article the and the indefinite article a/an, at once
discloses not two but three meaningful characterizations of the nounal referent
achieved by their correlative functioning, namely: one rendered by the definite
article, one rendered by the indefinite article, and one rendered by the
absence (or non-use) of the article. Let us examine them separately.definite
article expresses the identification or individualization of the referent of
the noun: the use of this article shows that the object denoted is taken in its
concrete, individual quality. This meaning can be brought to explicit
exposition by a substitution test. The test consists in replacing the article
used in a construction by a demonstrative word, e.g. a demonstrative
determiner, without causing a principal change in the general implication of
the construction. Of course, such an "equivalent" substitution should
be understood in fact as nothing else but analogy: the difference in meaning
between a determiner and an article admits of no argument, and we pointed it
out in the above passages. Still, the replacements of words as a special
diagnostic procedure, which is applied with the necessary reservations and
according to a planned scheme of research, is quite permissible. In our case it
undoubtedly shows a direct relationship in the meanings of the determiner and
the article, the relationship in which the determiner is semantically the more
explicit element of the two. Cf.:look at the apple-tree! - But look at this
apple-tree! The town lay still in the Indian summer sun. - That town lay still
in the Indian summer sun. The water is horribly hot. - This water is horribly
hot. It's the girls who are to blame. - It's those girls who are to
blame.justification of the applied substitution, as well as its explanatory character,
may be proved by a counter-test, namely, by the change of the definite article
into the indefinite article, or by omitting the article altogether [50, c.181]
The replacement either produces a radical, i.e. "non-equivalent"
shift in the meaning of the construction, or else results in a grammatically
unacceptable construction. Cf.:... - Look at an apple-tree! - Look at
apple-tree!... - A water is horribly hot. - Water is horribly hot.indefinite
article, as different from the definite article, is commonly interpreted as
referring the object denoted by the noun to a certain class of similar objects;
in other words, the indefinite article expresses a classifying generalization
of the nounal referent, or takes it in a relatively general sense. To prove its
relatively generalizing functional meaning, we may use the diagnostic
insertions of specifying-classifying phrases into the construction in question;
we may also employ the transformation of implicit comparative constructions
with the indefinite article into the corresponding explicit coparative
constructions. Cf.:passed a water-mill. - We passed a certain water-mill. It is
a very young country, isn't it? - It is a very young kind of country, isn't it?
What an arrangement! - What sort of arrangement! This child is a positive
nightmare. - This child is positively like a nightmare.procedure of a
classifying contrast employed in practical textbooks exposes the generalizing
nature of the indefinite article most clearly in many eases of its use.
E.g.:door opened in the wall. - A door (not a window) opened in the wall. We
saw a flower under the bush. - We saw a flower (not a strawberry) under the
bush.for the various uses of nouns without an article, from the semantic point
of view they all should be divided into two types. In the first place, there
are uses where the articles are deliberately omitted out of stylistical
considerations. We see such uses, for instance, in telegraphic speech, in
titles and headlines, in various notices. E.g.:received room reserved for
week-end. (The text of a telegram.) Conference adjourned until further notice.
(The text of an announcement.) Big red bus rushes food to strikers. (The title
of a newspaper article.)purposeful elliptical omission of the article in cases
like that is quite obvious, and the omitted articles may easily be restored in
the constructions in the simplest "back-directed" refilling
procedures.. - The telegram is received, a room is reserved for the weekend....
- The conference is adjourned until further notice.... - A big red bus rushes
food to the strikers.free elliptical constructions, there are cases of the
semantically unspecified non-use of the article in various combinations of
fixed type, such as prepositional- phrases (on fire, at hand, in debt, etc.),
fixed verbal collocations (take place, make use, cast anchor, etc.),
descriptive coordinative groups and repetition groups (man and wife, dog and
gun, day by day, etc.), and the like. These cases of traditionally fixed
absence of the article are quite similar to the cases of traditionally fixed
uses of both indefinite and definite articles (cf.: in a hurry, at a loss, have
a look, give a start, etc.; In the main, out of the question, on the look-out,
etc.).the elliptical constructions and fixed uses, however, we know a really
semantic absence of the article with the noun. It is this semantic absence of
the article that stands in immediate meaningful correlation with the definite
and indefinite articles as such.is widely acknowledged, the meaningful non-uses
of the article are not homogeneous; nevertheless, they admit of a very explicit
classification founded on the countability characteristics of the noun. Why
countability characteristics? For the two reasons. The first reason is inherent
in the nature of the noun itself: the abstract generalization reflected through
the meaningful non-use of the article is connected with the suppression of the
idea of the number in the noun. The second reason is inherent in the nature of
the article: the indefinite article which plays the crucial role in the
semantic correlation in question reveals the meaning of oneness within its
semantic base, having originated from the indefinite pronoun one, and that is
why the abstract use of the noun naturally goes with the absence of the article.essential
points of the said classification are three in number.. The meaningful absence
of the article before the countable noun in the singular signifies that the
noun is taken in an abstract sense, expressing the most general idea of the
object denoted. This meaning, which may be called the meaning of "absolute
generalization", can be demonstrated by inserting in the tested
construction a chosen generalizing modifier (such as in general, in the
abstract, in the broadest sense). Cf.:(in general) begins with the beginning of
human society. Steam-engine (in general) introduced for locomotion a couple of
centuries ago has now become obsolete.. The absence of the article before the
uncountable noun corresponds to the two kinds of generalization: both relative
and absolute. To decide which of the two meanings is realized in any particular
case, the described tests should be carried out alternately. Cf.:laughed with
great bitterness (that sort of bitterness - relative generalization). The
subject of health (in general - absolute generalization) was carefully avoided
by everybody. Coffee (a kind of beverage served at the table - relative
generalization) or tea, please? Coffee (in general - absolute generalization)
stimulates the function of the heart.. The absence of the article before the
countable noun in the plural, likewise, corresponds to both kinds of
generalization, and the exposition of the meaning in each case can be achieved
by the same semantic tests. Cf.:, planets and comets (these kinds of objects:
relative generalization) are different celestial bodies (not terrestrial
bodies: relative generalization). Wars (in general: absolute generalization)
should be eliminated as means of deciding international disputes.distinguish
the demonstrated semantic functions of the non-uses of the article by
definition, we may say that the absence of the article with uncountable nouns,
as well as with countable nouns in the plural, renders the meaning of
"uncharacterized generalization", as different from the meaning of
"absolute generalization", achieved by the absence of the article
with countable nouns in the singular.much for the semantic evaluation of the
articles as the first stage of our study.to the situational assessment of the
article uses, we must point out that the basic principle of their
differentiation here is not a direct consideration of their meanings, but
disclosing the informational characteristics that the article conveys to its
noun in concrete contextual conditions. Examined from this angle, the definite
article serves as an indicator of the type of nounal information "which is
presented as the "facts already known", i.e. as the starting point of
the communication. In contrast to this, the indefinite article or the
meaningful absence of the article introduces the central communicative nounal
part of the sentence, i.e. the part rendering the immediate informative data to
be conveyed from the speaker to the listener. In the situational study of
syntax the starting point of the communication is called its "theme",
while the central informative part is called its "rheme".
In accord with the said situational functions,
the typical syntactic position of the noun modified by the definite article is
the "thematic" subject, while the typical syntactic position of the
noun modified by the indefinite article or by the meaningful absence of the
article is the "rhematic" predicative. Cf:.
The day (subject) was
drawing to a close, the busy noises of the city (subject) were dying down. How
to handle the situation was a big question (predicative). The sky was pure gold
(predicative) above the setting sun.should be noted that in many other cases of
syntactic use, i.e. non-subjective or non-predicative, the articles reflect the
same situational functions. This can be probed by reducing the constructions in
question on re-arrangement lines to the logically "canonized"
link-type constructions.you would care to verify the Incident (object), pray do
so. -If you would care the incident (subject) to be verified, pray have it verified.
I am going to make a rather strange request (object) to you. - What I am going
to make is a rather strange request (predicative) to you. You are talking
nonsense (object), lad. - What you are talking, lad, is nonsense
(predicative).essential contextual-situational characteristic of the articles
is their immediate connection with the two types of attributes to the noun. The
first type is a "limiting" attribute, which requires the definite
article before the noun; the second type is a "descriptive" attribute,
which requires the indefinite article or the meaningful absence of the article
before the noun. Cf.:events chronicled in this narrative took place some four
years ago. (A limiting attribute) She was a person of strong will and iron
self-control. (A descriptive attribute) He listened to her story with grave and
kindly attention. (A descriptive attribute)role of descriptive attributes in
the situational aspect of articles is particularly worthy of note in the
constructions of syntactic "convergencies", i.e. chained
attributive-repetitional phrases modifying the same referent from different
angles. Cf.:longing for a house, a fine and beautiful house, such a house I
could never hope to have, flowered into life again.have now come to the third
stage of the undertaken analysis of the English articles, namely to their
consideration in the light of the oppositional theory. The oppositional
examination of any grammatically relevant set of lingual objects is of especial
importance from the point of view of the systemic conception of language, since
oppositions constitute the basis of the structure of grammatical paradigms.in
mind the tacts established at the two previous stages of observation, it is
easy to see that oppositionally, the article determination of the noun should
be divided into two binary correlations connected with each other
hierarchically.opposition of the higher level operates in the whole system of
articles. It contrasts the definite article with the noun against the two other
forms of article determination of the noun, i.e. the indefinite article and the
meaningful absence of the article. In this opposition the definite article
should be interpreted as the strong member by virtue of its identifying and
individualizing function, while the other forms of article determination should
be interpreted as the weak member, i.e. the member that leaves the feature in
question ("identification") unmarked.opposition of the lower level
operates within the article subsystem that forms the weak member of the upper
opposition. This opposition contrasts the two types of generalization, i.e, the
relative generalization distinguishing its strong member (the indefinite
article plus the meaningful absence of the article as its analogue with
uncountable nouns and nouns in the plural) and the absolute, or
"abstract" generalization distinguishing the weak member of the
opposition (the meaningful absence of the article).described oppositional
system can be shown on the following diagram (see Fig. 2).
It is the oppositional description of the English
articles that involves the interprctation of the article non-use as the zero
form of the article, since the opposition of the positive exponent of the
feature to the negative exponent of the feature (i.e. its absence) realizes an
important part of the integral article determination semantics. As for the
heterogeneity of functions displayed by the absence of the article, it by no
means can be taken as a ground for denying the relevance or expediency of
introducing the notion of zero in the article system. As a matter of fact, each
of the two essential meanings of this dialectically complex form is clearly
revealed in its special oppositional correlation and, consequently, corresponds
to the really existing lingual facts irrespective of the name given to the form
by the observer.
The best way of
demonstrating the actual oppositional value of the articles on the immediate
textual material is to contrast them in syntactically equivalent conditions in
pairs. Cf. the examples given below.nounal positions for the pair "the
definite article - the indefinite article": The train hooted (that train).
- A train hooted (some train).nounal positions for the pair "the definite
article - the absence of the article": I'm afraid the oxygen is out (our
supply of oxygen). - Oxygen is necessary for life (oxygen in general, life in
general).nounal positions for the pair "the indefinite article - the
absence of the article": Be careful, there is a puddle under your feet (a
kind of puddle). - Be careful, there is mud on the ground (as different from
clean space)., correlative nounal positions for the easily neutralized pair
"the zero article of relative generalization - the zero article of
absolute generalization": New information should be gathered on this
subject (some information). - Scientific information should be gathered
systematically in all fields of human knowledge (information in general).the
basis of the oppositional definition of the article it becomes possible to
explicate the semantic function of the article determination of nouns for cases
where the inherent value of the article is contrasted against the contrary
semantic value of the noun or the nounal collocation.particular, the indefinite
article may occasionally be used with a nounal collocation of normally
individualizing meaning, e.g.:
Rodney Harrington laughed out loud as he caught a
last glimpse of Allison Mackenzie and Norman Page in his rear-vision mirror
(Gr. Metalious). After all, you've got a best side and a worst side of yourself
and it's no good showing the worst side and harping on it (A. Christie).
Conversely, the definite
article may occasionally be used with a nounal collocation of normally
descriptive meaning, e.g.:still went in the evenings to bathe in the silent
pool (S. Maugham).indefinite article may occasionally be used with a unique
referent noun, e.g.:Latimer from beyond her murmured: "The sun here isn't
a real sun" (A. Christie).zero article may occasionally be used with an
ordinary concrete noun the semantic nature of which stands, as it were, in
sharp contradiction to the idea of uncountable generalization, e.g.:glasses had
a habit of slipping down her button nose which did not have enough bridge to
hold them up (S.M. Disney). He went up a well-kept drive to a modern house with
a square roof and a good deal of window (A. Christie).all these and similar
cases, by virtue of being correlated with semantic elements of contrary nature,
the inherent categorial meanings of the articles appear, as it were, in their
original, pure quality. Having no environmental support, the articles become
intensely self-dependent in the expression of their categorial semantics, and,
against the alien contextual background, traces of transposition can be seen in
their use.established the functional value of articles in oppositional
assessment, we can now, in broader systemic contraposition, probe the
correlation of the meanings of articles with the meanings of functional
determiners. As a result of this observation, within the system of the
determiners two separate subsets can be defined, one of which is centred around
the definite article with its individualizing semantics (this - these, that -
those, my, our, your, his, her, its, their), and the other one around the
indefinite article with its generalizing semantics (another, some, any, every,
no). The type of the division is such as to show the integration of the article
meanings into the total semantic volume of the determiners. In other words, the
observation inevitably leads us to the conclusion that the article
determination of the noun as a specific grammatical category remains valid also
in such cases when the noun is modified not by the article itself, but by a
seminotional determiner. This is clearly seen in equivalency confrontations
such as the following:unhappily the wife wasn't listening. - But unhappily his
wife wasn't listening.whispering voices caught the attention of the guards. -
Those whispering voices caught their attention.could a woman do in a situation
like that? - What could any woman do in that sort of situation?least I saw
interest in her eyes. - At least I saw some interest in her eyes.a word had
been pronounced about the terms of the document. - No word had been pronounced
about those terms.demonstration of the organic connection between the articles
and seminotional determiners, in its turn, makes it possible to disclose the
true function of the grammatical use of articles with proper nouns. E.g.:
Froelich, "is the James Walker who wrote "The Last of the Old
Lords'" (M. Bradbury). Cf.: This is the same James Walker.came out to Iraq
with a Mrs. Kelsey (A. Christie). Cf.: The woman was a certain Mrs. Kelsey.was
like seeing a Vesuvius at the height of its eruption. Cf.: The sight looked to
us like another Vesuvius.
"I prophesy a wet
August," said Old Moore Abinger (M. Dickens). Cf.: Next August will be a
wet month, unlike some other Augusts in retrospect.the exemplified grammatical
uses transpositional features are revealed similar to those the article
acquires when used with a noun characterized by a contrary semantic base. On
the other hand, the analysis of these cases clearly stamps the traditional
proper name combinations with embedded articles, both of the onomastic set
(Alexander the Great, etc.) and the toponymic set (The Hague, etc.) as
lexicalized collocations that only come into contact with the periphery of
grammar.essential grammatical features of the articles exposed in the above
considerations and tests leave no room for misinterpretation at the final,
generalizing stage of analysis. data obtained show that the English noun,
besides the variable categories of number and case, distinguishes also the
category of determination expressed by the article paradigm of three
grammatical forms: the definite, the indefinite, the zero. The paradigm is
generalized for the whole system of the common nouns, being transpositionally
outstretched also into the system of proper nouns. Various cases of asymmetry
in the realization of this paradigm (such as the article determination of
certain nouns of the types singularia tantum and pluralia tantum), similar to,
and in connection with the expression of the category of number, are balanced
by suppletive collocations. Cf.: 0 progress - a kind of progress, some progress
- the progress; 0 news - an item of news - the news, etc.semi-notional
determiners used with nouns in the absence of articles, expose the essential
article meanings as in-built in their semantic structure.
Thus, the status of the combination of the
article with the noun should be defined as basically analytical, the article
construction as such being localized by its segmental properties between the
free syntactic combination of words (the upper bordering level) and the combination
of a grammatical affix with a notional stem in the morphological composition of
an indivisible word (the lower bordering level). The article itself is a
special type of grammatical auxiliary.[41, c. 164]
The pronunciation of the
The pronunciation of the
articles and the spelling of the indefinite article depend upon the initial
sound of the following word. The indefinite article is spelled as a before
consonant and as an before vowel sounds. When stressed it is pronounced
respectively as [ei] or [am]. However, since the articles are usually
unstressed, the pronunciation of the indefinite article is generally reduced to
the neutral vowel [ə] before consonants, and to [n] before vowel sounds,
which depends entirely on the pronunciation and not the spelling of the
following word, as can be seen in the table below.
a dog an
applehouse an hourEuropean an eagleunit an uncleyear an
x-raymanuscript an MP
The definite article is
pronounced as [рi:] when stressed. When unstressed, it is pronounced as [рə]
before consonants and [рi] before vowels:
the dog the
applehouse the hourEuropean the x-rayunit the unclemanuscript the
Since the article is the
opening element of a noun phrase, it is placed before the noun it refers to or
before all the other noun premodifiers. The exceptions to this rule are as
a) the definite
article may be preceded by the predeterminers all and
Are you going to cook all
the cakes yourself? Both the answers were good.
b) the indefinite
article may be preceded by the predeterminers what,
What a sight I am in this
hat!were such a queen, and I was such a nothing!are quite a scholar.) the
indefinite article is placed after adjectives preceded by the adverbs too, as,
so:was too difficult a problem for the child to solve. It's as good an excuse
as any for breaking it up. I've never seen so miserable a creature as Jane was
at the moment [46, c.84].
1.4 The functions of
use of the the Indefinite
. With countable nouns,
both concrete and abstract, the indefinite article is used when we want to name
an object (thing, person, animal, abstract notion), to state what kind of
object is meant:.g. He gave her a cigarette and lighted it.came a tap at
the door, and a small elderly manthe room, wearing a cloth cap.function may be
called the nominating function. It is the main function of the indefinite
article with countable nouns.at the same time, owing to its origin from the
numeral one, the indefinite article always implies the idea of oneness and is
used only before nouns in the singular (including such words as alms, barracks,
bellows, works, headquarters, etc. which may be singular in meaning).of the
above mentioned structural meanings the indefinite article may have some other
functions, which are to be regarded as its additional meanings (or additional
functions). As will be seen, they always result from the principal function. We
may trace the following additional meanings in the indefinite
article.indefinite article may express indefiniteness, since when we just name
an object it is often indefinite in our mind..g. He's got a job now.was going
to tell us a story.this additional meaning is not necessarily expressed by the
indefinite article. Thus we may hardly speak of the indefiniteness of the
object in the following examples:’re a scientist and your attitude should be
realistic. ’ve a brother in Dorset and 1 could stay with him.indefinite article
may have the classifying meaning since by naming an object we often refer it at
the same time to a class of similar objects and thus contrast it to other
classes of objects. This function is clearly manifest when the noun is used as
a predicative or in apposition, also when it is introduced by as or like..g.
She is a war orphan.saw Ann talking with her cousin, a shy youth of twenty.
city looked to him as brilliant as a precious stone. told him that he could not
treat Charles like a child.it would be far-fetched to speak of the classifying meaning
in such cases as:has a father whom he goes to see quite often. are going to a
concert tonight.just naming an object the speaker is likely to make reference
to an object that is new to the hearer. So the indefinite article is often used
to introduce a new element in the sentence. Since a new element is, as a rule,
important and attracts attention, a noun with the indefinite article frequently
becomes the centre of communication and as such is marked by strong stress.
This additional meaning expressed by the indefinite article may be called the
communicating function. It is often found alongside of the main nominating
function and sometimes becomes very prominent..g. That evening he made a
confession. think he is a stupid fellow. His anger had taken on a different
tone.contrast to this, the definite article, which usually indicates that a
definite object is meant and that it is not new to the hearer, often serves to
show that the noun is not the centre of communication. Compare the following
sentences:door opened and a young girl came in. door opened and the young girl
came in.the first sentence we do not know who is behind the door and a young
girl is the new element in the sentence. Whereas in the second sentence we
already know that there was a girl behind the door and the new information
contained in the sentence is that she now came in. The two variants differ in
intonation: in the first sentence a young girl is marked by stronger stress
whereas in the second one came in becomes more prominent.the communicating
function of the indefinite article is important and sometimes becomes very
prominent, it is to be regarded only as an additional meaning: we may find
sentences in which a noun with an indefinite article does not serve as the
centre of communication and is not marked by strong stress (a) and, vice versa,
a noun with a definite article marked by strong stress may become the most
important element of communication (b):
a) A camel can
carry heavy loads.
An engagement should come
on a girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be.
b) It was the first
a hundred, a thousand, a minute, a mile, etc.;
after the negative not: not a word, not a trace, not a
in some set phrases: one at a time, at a draught (as in: heemptied
his glass at a draught), a stitch in time saves nine, etc.
In certain patterns and
set phrases the indefinite article acquires the meaning of the same, as in:are
much of a size.are of an age.of a feather flock together.the following pattern
the indefinite article is said to acquire distributive force: once a month,
twice a week, three times a year, etc.should be pointed out that all the above
mentioned additional meanings of the indefinite article result from its main
nominating function and from the meaning of oneness which is always implied
with countable nouns. Depending on the context those meanings may or may not be
expressed by the article. Sometimes more than one additional function finds its
expression in the sentence. Thus in I am a teacher the classifying and the
communicating meanings are clearly seen; in He bought a book indefiniteness is
expressed along with the communicating function.it is only the nominating
function alongside of the idea of oneness that is always uppermost when the
indefinite article is associated with countable nouns.
. With uncountable nouns,
the indefinite article serves to bring out a special aspect of the notion
expressed by the noun. In this case its function may be called aspective..g. A
dull burning anger rose in his chest. He had almost a supernatural courage. Her
presence stirred him usually to a shy swift eagerness.this case the noun is
usually qualified by an attribute which also brings out a special aspect,
though occasionally it may be used without any attribute:.g. There was a warmth
between them, a sense of waiting.its aspective function the indefinite article
is devoid of the idea of oneness, which may be proved by the fact that we do
not find such plurals as burning angers or supernatural courages. aspective use
of the indefinite article is mainly characteristic of literary style. In
bringing out a special aspect of the notion expressed by the noun the author
usually strives for expressiveness, desiring to attract the attention of the
reader to this or that particular noun. With the attention focused on the noun,
the latter generally becomes the centre of communication and thus the aspective
function of the indefinite article is usually found side by side with its
. With nouns which have
no reference to the category of countabil-ity (i.e. nouns denoting unique
things and notions) the indefinite article has the same meaning as with
uncountable nouns: it is used in its aspective function and at the same time
its communicating function becomes very prominent..g. The moon hung in the sky,
a young silver moon in the pale summer night.was sure in those days that a
brilliant future was awaiting his son.use of the Definite Article.
. When used with
countable nouns, both concrete and abstract, the definite article has two
distinct functions.) It may be used with singular and plural nouns to show that
the noun denotes a particular object (thing, person, animal, abstract notion)
or a group of objects as distinct from the others of the same kind. We may also
say that the definite article serves to single out an object or several objects
from all the other objects of the same class. This function is called the
defining function of the definite article. e.g. Ann herself had no doubt of the
reason behind Mr. March's invitation. I called at her house on my way home one
night, just after we had all received the letters asking us to dine; 1 found
Ann alone. For the first time in the years 1 had known her, her courage would
not answer her. As we stood on the steps, we felt the smell of fallen leaves
coming from the garden.the demonstrative force which is inherent in the
definite article owing to its origin becomes quite prominent. This occurs in a
number of phrases, such as nothing of the kind, at the time, at the moment,
under the circumstances, etc.it has been said, the definite article serves to
indicate that the noun with which it is associated is not the centre of
communication, i.e. that the attention of the speaker is not focused on that
object. But it has also been pointed out that the definite article may be
associated with a noun which is the centre of communication.) The definite
article may also have the generic function with countable nouns.nouns in the
singular it serves to indicate that the noun becomes the symbol of the class,
that it is meant as its composite image:.g. The tiger has always had the
reputation of being a man-eater.was a streak of the gambler in her.nouns in the
plural it is used in this function only when the idea of collectivity is
emphasized:.g. "I shan't have time for your moral sensitivity, "he
said, "until've beaten the fascists and got a decent world."
. With uncountable nouns
the function of the definite article may be called restricting. The definite
article restricts the abstract notion expressed by an uncountable noun to a
concrete instance (a); it also restricts the material denoted by a concrete
uncountable noun to a definite quantity, portion or to a definite locality
(b):.g. a) I did not wish
to betray the anxiety 1 felt.rested in the certainty that his duty was done.)
"Robert, "said Aunt Lin, coming in pink and indignant, "did you
know that you left the fish on the hall table and: it has soaked through to the
mahogany?" As we came out into the cold damp air she shivered.
. When the definite
article is associated with nouns which have no reference to the category of
countability it has its defining function. It naturally refers to a definite
object, as the noun denotes a thing or notion that is unique:.g. The moon set,
and in the sky the countless stars shone with their terrifying brilliance.each
knew that this quarrel was different from those in the past.of the Article (The
Zero Article)absence of the article (the zero article) has only one function
with common nouns and this is synonymous with the main structural meaning of
the indefinite article: it is the nominating function.function of the absence
of the article may be found with countable nouns in the plural; it is parallel
to the use of the indefinite article with singular nouns. But while the
indefinite article is associated with the idea of oneness, the zero article
always implies more-than-oneness:.g. As Robert got out of the car Marion came
round the corner of the house, wearing gardening gloves and a very old skirt.
her friends came to tea, my mother would give me some pennies to buy apples or
a magazine. sleeps very soundly. She had a splitting headache and took an
aspirin and sleeping pills. road led across a stream and then through woods and
open clearings.the indefinite article, the zero article may convey some
additional meanings. It may sometimes express indefiniteness and perform the
classifying and the communicating functions.nominating function of the zero
article is also found with uncountable nouns, both abstract and concrete (names
of materials):.g. Last night I felt friendship and sympathy for Henry, but
today he has become an enemy. he is so interested in justice he might do
something about that.asked for water and drank thirstily. place smelled of
dust.grammars point out the introductory function of the indefinite article and
the anaphoric function of the definite article. It is not correct, however, to
regard the use of the indefinite article with nouns mentioned for the first
time and the use of the definite article to refer back to an object which has
already been mentioned as structural meanings inherent in the articles
themselves. We rather deal with certain situations here in which the nominating
function of the indefinite article and the defining function of the definite
article are manifest.above description of the various functions of articles and
their significant absence may be summed up in the table.can be seen from the table,
the use of the articles depends on the character of the noun. But in English
there are many polysemantic nouns which may be countable in one meaning and
uncountable in another. As a result, the functions of the articles vary in
accordance with the different meanings in which a noun appears.
having no reference to the category of countability
singular nouns - the nominating function + oneness Additional functions: 1)
indefiniteness 2) classifying 3) communicating 4) any 5) a certain 6) numeric
7) the same 8) distributive
aspective function Additional functions: communicating
aspective function Additional functions: communicating
singular and plural nouns 1. the defining function 2. the generic function
of the article
plural nouns - the nominating function + more-than-oneness Additional
functions: 1) indefiniteness 2) classifying 3) communicating
Note. The above
description of the functions of articles shows that their use is built up
around a number of oppositions. There arc two main types of these.. Oppositions
based on the category of number:
opposition is found when
the article is associated with uncountable nouns or nouns having no reference
to the category of countability.
We find the two above
given kinds of opposition within the same function of the indefinite article
and the zero article, i.e. the nominating function.. Oppositions based on the
structural meaning of the articles:
, we find one more
special kind of opposition where the indefinite article in its aspective
function is opposed to both the definite article and the zero article, neither
of which possesses aspective force [29, c.87].use of the indefinite
articlenouns are used with the indefinite article:
. When the speaker
presents the object expressed by the noun as belonging to a certain class. In
this case the indefinite article has the meaning of 'какой-нибудь, какой-то, один' (in the
meaning of 'некий').has a watch
of her own.the green surface of the lake a little boat, with white
wingsfluttering, rocked in the dewy breeze. (Voynich)beside them grew a
rose-bush covered with scarlet hips. (Voynich)the plural no article is used in this
case. If the idea of number is implied the noun is preceded by the pronoun
some.liked the room because there were flowers in it.
"I have brought you
some flowers..." "1 hate to wear flowers." (Voynich)
. With a predicative
noun, when the speaker states that the object denoted by the noun belongs to a
certain class.Sharp's father was an artist. (Thackeray)
"Is your brother an
agreeable man, Peggotty?" "Oh, what anman he is!" (Dickens)works
as a chemist. (Cronin)the plural neither the article nor the pronoun some is
used.are good children, no doubt. (E. Bronte) "... they were business men
when I was in the nursery." (Voynich)the conjunction as a predicative noun
is often used without an article.was engaged as governess.
3. When the noun is
used in a general sense. What is said of one representative of a class can be
applied to all the representatives of the class. The article has the meaning of
A drowning man catches at
a straw.the plural neither the article nor the pronoun some is used. Real friends
should have everything in common. (Wilde)
4. There are cases
when the indefinite article preserves its old original meaning of 'one'.
A stitch in time saves
nine.had hardly spoken a word since they left Riccardo's door...
(Voynich)meaning is generally found with:
(a) nouns denoting
time, measure and weight.
A week or two passed.
"I'll overtake you
in a minute," said Godfrey. (Eliot)
(b) the numerals
-hundred, thousand, million and the nouns
dozen, score.seems to
have half я dozen
languages at his finger-tips. (Voynich)nouns in the plural some is used.
Oliver's sobs checked his utterance for some minutes. (Dickens)use of the
definite articlenouns are used with the definite article:
. When the noun denotes
an object or objects which the speaker singles out from all the objects of a
given class. An object is singled out in the following cases:
(a) when the speaker
and the hearer know what particular object is meant. No special indication is
How did you like the
play?have got the magazine.
У меня есть этот журнал (журнал у меня).
Note. - It should be
borne in mind that there is a difference between knowing what object is spoken
about and knowing the object itself.
. A. I do not care to
speak to the girl. I have never seen her.'t you speak to her? B. But I do not
know the girl either. . A. Who told you about it?
в: a girl.
A. What girl?. My
In the first dialogue the
speaker and the hearer do not know the person at all, but they know whom they
mean, so the definite article is used. In the second the speaker knows the
person, but he presents her to the hearer merely as one of a class, so the
indefinite article is used.
(b) when the speaker
uses an attribute pointing out a particular object.
This is the house that
(c) when the
situation itself makes the object definite.
The wedding looked
dismal. The bride was too old and the bridegroom was too young. (Dickens)an
object is singled out from all the objects of a given class the definite
article retains its demonstrative meaning, and the English use the definite
article much oftener than the demonstrative pronouns this or that. Thus the
Russian sentence Дайте мне эту книгу should be
rendered in English by Let me have the book.a rule the definite article is not
translated into Russian. However, there are cases when it must be rendered by этот.told me
before you wished to be a governess; but, my dear, if you remember, I did not
encourage the idea. (Ch. Bronte)... я не одобрила эту мысль.
2. When the noun
denotes a thing unique (the sun, the moon,
the universe) or a class.
The sun was getting
warmer. (Abrahams) The bourgeoisie is cowardly. (London)indefinite article can
be used when we mean a certain aspect in which the sun, moon and sky appear to
us, a certain state of the sun, the moon, the sky. In this case an attribute is
used.pearl-white moon smiles through the green trees. (Ch. Bronte)
3. With nouns used
in a generic sense.
A noun used in a generic
sense denotes a genus taken as a whole, a thing taken as a type, a genre.tiger
has always had the reputation of being a man-eater. The telephone was invented
in the 19th century. The tragedy and the comedy first appeared in Greece.the
noun man is used in a generic sense no article is used.felt that his trust in
man had been cruelly destroyed. (Eliot)the noun woman is used in a generic
sense it is used with the definite article or occasionally without an
article.had always been interested in that mysterious being - the. (Bennett)is
man's helpmate.noun used in a generic sense should not be confused with a noun
used in a general sense.noun used in a general sense denotes an object regarded
as an individual representative of a class.detective story helps to while away
(Every or any detective
story is meant here.)noun in a generic sense denotes the whole class.Doyle is a
master of the detective story. (The detective story is regarded here as a
certain genre.)notes on the use of the Definite Article. definite article is
(1) with nouns
modified by adjectives in the superlative degree.
Miss Tox had the softest
voice that ever was heard. (Dickens)
(2) with nouns in
word-groups the first component of which is some, many, none, most and the
second a noun with the preposition of.
Most of the gentlemen
looked both angry and uncomfortable. (Voynich)
(3) with nouns
modified by the pronoun same and the adjectives wrong (не тот), right (тот), very (именно тот, тот самый).
То all invitations he
replied with the same courteous and positive refusal. (Voynich)do wish we had
not opened the door of the wrong room. (Jerome)
«... именно тот (как раз тот) человек,
который мне нужен». Signora Grassini hated Gemma for the very expression of her
Синьора Грассини ненавидела Джемму за само
выражение ее лица.
substantivized adjectives and participles
Only the simple and the
humble were abroad at that early hour. (Bennett)conveyed some of his love of
the beautiful to Cowperwood. (Dreiser)listeners noted something beyond the
usual in his voice. (Galsworthy). - With countable abstract nouns the use of
the articles is the same as with class nouns.is a capital idea if only one
could carry it out. (Voynich)use of articles with class nouns modified by
attributes.definite article is used when a noun is modified by an attribute
which shows that a particular object is meant, i. e. by an attribute which
might be called a particularizing attribute [20, c. 67] A particularizing
attribute is used to single out an object from all the objects of the class, to
point out one particular object or group of objects. The use of a
particularizing attribute implies the idea of 'тот, который'; 'именно тот, этот'.particularizing
attribute can be expressed by an of-phrase or an attributive clause. It is
always used in post-position.knocked at the door of a very neat house.
(Marryat)letters that I have here have come to me quite by accident.
(Dreiser)particularizing attribute should not be confused with a descriptive
attribute.descriptive attribute is used to describe an object or to give some
additional information about it.a fortnight I got a long letter, which I
considered odd. (E. Bronte)post on her left was occupied by Mr. Erskine of Treadley,
an old gentleman of considerable charm and culture. (Wilde)use of a descriptive
attribute does not affect the use of the article. The same articles would be
used if there were no attribute whatever.day in January he called at the
seminary to return a book which he had borrowed. (Voynich)have just spoken to
the woman, who seems to have changed her mind. (Bennett)went side by side, hand
in hand, silently toward the hedge, where the May flower, both pink and white,
was in full bloom. (Galsworthy)the first example the indefinite article is used
with the noun book because the object denoted by it is presented as belonging
to a class. The noun woman is used with the definite article because the
speaker and the hearer know what particular person is meant. The noun hedge is
used with the definite article because the situation makes the object
definite.) Nouns of material nouns of material used in a general sense, when a
certain material as such is meant, no article is used.is wholesome.hearing what
had happened, she (Katie) ran for warm water... (Voynich)a definite part of the
substance is meant (when the noun is modified by a particularizing attribute or
is made definite by the situation), the definite article is used.gulped down a
glass of the sherry which Cornelius hadbrought. (Heym)meat was good and White
Fang was hungry. (London)an indefinite part of the substance is meant, some is
used.took some bread and cheese with us, and got some goat's milk up there on
the pasture. (Voynich)of material denoting different sorts of material are
countables and the articles are used according to the general use of articles
with class nouns.pleasure to give a good wine to a young woman who looked so
well. (Galsworthy)use is very rare.) Abstract nouns abstract nouns are used in
a general sense, no article is used.there is life there is hope.abstract nouns
are modified by a particularizing attribute or when the situation makes the
idea definite, they are used with the definite article.(Cowperwood) was the
courage and force of his father, the spirit and opportunity of his brothers,
the hope of his children, the dignity and significance of the Cowperwood name.
(Dreiser) Last night I heard Carmen and enjoyed the music.1. - It should be
borne in mind that abstract nouns modified by an attribute in pre-position are
used without articles unless they are modified by particularizing attributes:
English literature, Russian art. Soviet music.2.- The abstract noun weather is
never used with the indefinite article. What fine weather! It is burning
weather. (Ch. Bronte)the noun weather is used in a general sense, the definite
article is used.are people who say that the weather can influence people's
mood. (Bennett)nouns can be used with the indefinite article. In this case the
abstract noun denotes a certain kind (оттенок) of a quality, feeling, state, etc. The
noun nearly always has a descriptive attribute.clever you are, Mr. Hopper. You
have a cleverness quite of your own. (Wilde)her eyes there was an eagerness,
which could hardly be seen without delight. (Austen)indefinite article is used
with the nouns period, population, distance, height, salary, etc. followed by
of + numeral + noun.was out of the city for a period of ten days.
(Dreiser)proper nouns ) Names of persons.
1. Names of persons
are used without articles. looked at Lanny and Celia. (Abrahams)
2. Names denoting
the whole family are used with the definite article.
The Dashwoods were now
settled at Berton. (Auston)
3. When names of
persons are used, to denote a representative of a family, the indefinite
article is used.
never, never, never be a Dombey," said Mrs. Chick. (Dickens)
4. Names of persons
modified by a particularizing attribute are used with the definite article.
You're not the Andrew
Manson I married. (Cronin)tall blond man of forty is not much changed in
featurethe Godfrey Cass of six-and-twenty. (Eliot)
5. Names of persons
used as common nouns take the article according to the general rule on the use
Swithin smiled and
nodding at Bosinney said, "Why, you are quite a Monte Cristo."
(Galsworthy)has been called the Raphael of music.
6. Nouns denoting
military ranks and titles such as academician, professor, doctor (both a
profession and a title), count, lord, etc. followed by names of persons do not
take the article. In such cases only the proper noun is stressed:
Colonel'Brown, Doctor'Strong. Common nouns denoting professions followed by
names of persons are generally used with the definite article. In this case
both nouns are stressed.
The painter Gainsborough
has left many fine pictures.. However if the name of a person is nearly always
used with the common noun denoting his profession, the word group becomes an
indivisible unit and the article may be omitted: judge Brown.
7. Nouns expressing
relationship followed by names of persons do not take the article: Aunt Polly,
She turned to Cousin
Clixam. (Bennett)expressing relationship not followed by a proper noun and the
nouns nurse, cook, baby do not take the article when used by members of the
"I'd like to see
Mother," said Emily. (Galsworthy)other people's relations are meant, the
article is used. The son is as clever as the father.
8. The use of
articles with names of persons modified by adjectives is varied.
In most cases no article
is used with names of persons modified by the adjectives old, young, poor,
dear, little, honest, lazy.
... she is the widow of
poor Giovanni Bolla... (Voynich) He saw that old Chapin wanted to moralize a
little. (Dreiser)modified by other adjectives and participles names of persons
take the definite article.thought Amelia worthy even of the brilliant George
Osborne. (Thackeray)astonished Tom could not say a word.
. Names of persons
modified by the adjective certain are used with the indefinite article.heard it
from a certain Mr. Brown.) Geographical names.. Geographical names like all the
other proper nouns are used without articles: England, France, Moscow,
London.same holds good when a geographical name is modified by an attribute in
pre-position: Soviet Russia, North America, Latin America, Central Asia.. - The
word groups the Soviet Union, the United States are always used with the
names modified by a particularizing attribute are used with the definite
The Philadelphia into
which Frank Algernon Cowperwood was born was a city of two hundred and fifty
thousand and more. (Dreiser)
With names of oceans, seas, rivers the definite article is used:
the Pacific Ocean (the Pacific), the Black Sea, the Thames, the Ohio River.
Names of lakes do not take the article if the word lake is used,
which is nearly always the case; if it is not mentioned we find the definite
article: Lake Windermere, Lake Ontario, the Ontario.
With names of mountain chains the definite article is used: the
Urals, the Alps.
With names of mountain
peaks no article is used: Elbrus, Everest.
6. With names of
groups of islands the definite article is used: the Hebrides, the Bermudas.
With names of single
islands there is no article: Madagascar.
7. The names of the
following towns, countries and provinces are used with the definite article:
the Hague, the Netherlands, the West Indies, the Ruhr, the Riviera, the Crimea,
the Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Congo. The Lebanon is generally used with the
definite article, occasionally without the article.
8. Names of streets
and squares are used without articles: Oxford Street, Wall Street, Trafalgar
Square, Russell Square.
are a few exceptions: the High Street, the Strand.) Names of hotels, ships,
newspapers and magazines.of hotels, ships, newspapers and magazines are used
with the definite article.he added that the Independent had accepted and was
about to publish two poems which he had been able to write because of her.
(Dreiser)three men came to the turning at the corner of the Grosvenor Hotel.
(Hichens)) Names of cardinal points.the names of cardinal points the definite
article is used: the North, the South, the West, the East.the expressions from
East to West, from North to South no article is used.) Names of months and
days.a rule names of months and days are used without articles.is a spring
month. My day off is Friday.these nouns are modified by a particularizing
attribute the definite article is used.May of 1949 will always rest in my
memory.Trotwood came on the Friday when David was born.of days are used with
the indefinite article when we mean one of many Mondays, Fridays, etc.Crusoe
found his servant on a Friday.do not remember exactly when he came from Moscow,
but Isure it was on a Monday.of months are used with the indefinite article
when modified by a descriptive attribute.cold May is the usual thing in
Leningrad.) The use of articles with nouns modified by proper nouns.a noun is
modified by a proper noun in the genitive case no article is used.met Robert's
father.noun modified by a proper noun in the common case is used with the
definite article.summer I visited the Tretyakov Gallery.
The sailor led him back to the little irregular
square by the
(Voynich)OF ARTICLES WITH NOUNS IN SOME SET EXPRESSIONS)The use of the
indefinite article with nouns in set expressions.
in a hurry - второпях
done in a hurry are done badly.
to have a mind to do something (a great mind, a good mind) - иметь желание что-либо сделать, быть склонным что либо сделать
have a great mind to have a serious talk with her.
to fly into a passion - прийти в бешенство
you contradict him, he will fly into a passion.
to get in a fury (in a rage) прийти в ярость
you contradict him, he will get in a fury (in a rage).
to take a fancy to (chiefly with names of living beings)- проникнуться симпатией, почувствовать расположение
wonder why she took a fancy to the little girl.
in a low (loud) voice - тихо(громко)
speak in a low voice.
great many (with countables) - много
have spoken to him a great many times.
great deal (with uncountables) - много
can't skate today, there is a great deal of snow on the ice.
it is a pity - жаль
is a pity you did not go to the concert last night.
it is a shame - стыдно
is a shame not to know these elementary things.
it is a pleasure - приятно
is a pleasure to read beautiful poetry.
as a result - в результате
result of the inhabitants strenuous efforts the damaged city was soon
to have a good time - хорошо провести время
night we went to an evening party and had a very good time.
to be at a loss - быть в недоумении
was at a loss what to say.
15. at a glance - сразу, с первого взгляда
saw at a glance that something had happened.
b)The use of the definite
article with nouns in set expressions.
it is out of the question - об этом не может быть и речи
you go to the theatre tonight?" "It's out of the question you have
lots of things to do."
to take the trouble to do something - потрудиться
had a difficult text to translate and you did not take the trouble to consult
in the original - в оригинале
to play the piano (the violin, the harp) - играть на рояле (скрипке, арфе)
plays the piano very well.
to keep the house - сидеть дома
has a cold and will have to keep the house for a couple of days.
6. to keep the bed - соблюдать постельный режим
has a bad cold and will have to keep the bed for a couple of days.
on the whole - в целом
the whole Tom is a pleasant fellow, but sometimes he has whims.
the other day (refers to the past) - на днях
met him the other day.
on the one hand. on the other hand - с одной стороны.с другой стороны
the one hand he certainly excites suspicion, but on the other hand we have
not enough evidence against him. (Qppenheim)
to tell (to speak) the truth говорить правду; To tell the truth, - по правде говоря
always speaks (tells) the truth.
to be on the safe side - для верности
almost sure of the pronunciation of this name, but to be on the safe side let
us consult the pronouncing dictionary.
) Nouns in set
expressions used without an article.
1. out of doors - на дворе, на улице, вне дома
children spent most of the time out of doors.
to take to heart - принимать
близко к сердцу
take things too much to heart.
to take offence - обижаться
he had heard your remark, he would have taken offence.
to give (to get, to ask) permission - дать
(получить, просить) разрешение
asked permission to keep the book a little longer.
5. to lose heart - терять мужество, приходить в уныние
Не found the subject very
difficult at first, but he did not lose heart.
6. at present - в настоящее время
went on working hard and finally mastered it. You may go home, we don't want
you at present.
from morning till night - с
утра до вечера
Не worked in his little garden
from morning till night.
from head to foot - с головы до ног
was dressed in furs from head to foot.
from beginning to end - с начала до конца
whole story is a lie from beginning to end.
10. at first sight - с первого взгляда
Не fell in love with her at
by chance -случайно
met quite by chance.
by mistake - по ошибке
have brought the wrong book by mistake.
hours - часами
Не could read for hours.
for ages - целую вечность
have not seen you for ages.
by land, by air, by sea - cyшей, по воздуху, морем
like travelling by sea.
to go to sea - стать моряком
sister wants to be a doctor, and my brother wants to go to sea.
on deck - на палубе
spent hours on deck.
18. to keep house - вести хозяйство
sister keeps house for her.
at sunrise - на рассвете
left the town at sunrise.
at sunset - на закате
arrived at the village at sunset.
at work - за работой
I come, he is always at work.
at peace - в мире
want to be at peace with all countries.
by name - по имени
cat, Snowball by name, was playing on the carpet.
in debt - в долгу
Micawber was always in debt.
use of articles with predicative nouns.stated above a predicative noun is used
with the indefinite article if the speaker states that the object denoted by
the noun belongs to a certain class.a predicative noun is modified by a
particularizing attribute, the definite article is used.is the student you
wanted to speak to.a predicative noun denotes a post which can be occupied by
one person at a time, either no atricle or the definite article is used..
Henderson is manager, not under-manager any longer. (Lindsay) Montanelli was
director of the theological seminary at Pisa. Comrade N. is the dean of our
faculty.article is used with predicative nouns after the verbs to turn, to
commence, to appoint, to elect. turned traitor.
Шекспир начинал как актер.appointed him head-teacher.
Его назначили старшим преподавателем.predicative noun sometimes has
an adjectival character, especially when it is followed by the adverb enough.
In this case no article is used.Bolla isn't fool enough to believe that sort of
настолько глуп, чтобы поверить подобному
вздору?a predicative noun in an
adverbial clause of concession is placed at the head of the clause, no article
is used.as he was, David understood that Creakle was an ignorant man Хотя Давид был ребенком, он понимал, что Крикль - невежественный человек.nouns son and daughter used predicatively
take the definite article when modified by an of phrase, though there may be
several sons and daughters in the family.was the son of a fisherman. Becky
Sharp was the daughter of an artist.) The use of articles with nouns in
apposition.in apposition and nouns forming part of an apposition are used with
the indefinite article if the speaker states that the object expressed by the
noun in apposition belongs to a certain class.want to introduce you to Comrade В., a great friend of mine.the plural no article is
used.want to introduce you to Comrades B. and D., great friends of.in
apposition or nouns forming part of an apposition are used with the definite
article if they are modified by a particularizing attribute.В., the student you have mentioned, has come.the noun
denotes a well-known person or work of art, the definite article is generally
used., the great Russian poet, died in 1837., the immortal tragedy by
Shakespeare, was written in theyears of the 17th century.if the person or the
work of art is not widely known the indefinite article is used., a comedy by
Shakespeare, is hardly ever staged.article is generally used with a noun in
apposition when the apposition expresses a post which can be occupied by one
person at a time. Occasionally the definite article is used.Petrov, director
(the director) of the Medical Institute, is going to deliver a lecture.Smirnov,
dean (the dean) of the English department, has left for Moscow.nouns used in
address take no article. Come downstairs, child. (Voynich)) Place of the
article.usual place of the article is before the noun if it is not modified by
an attribute; if the noun is modified by an attribute, the article is placed
before the latter. However, there are cases when the article follows the
1. The definite
article follows the attribute expressed by thepronouns both, all.
Both the stones were
interesting. All the stones were interesting.
2. The indefinite
article follows the attribute expressed by an adjective after so, too, as.
Mr. Pickwick could not
resist so tempting an opportunity ofhuman nature. (Dickens)compel me to tell
you that this is too serious a matter totreated in such a fashion. (Dreiser)was
as black a house inside as outside. (Dickens)
3. The indefinite
article follows quite, such, what (what in exclamatory sentences).
She is quite a child.'ve
never heard of such a thing.a wonderfu' piece of luck!indefinite article either
precedes or follows rather.enquiry envolved the respected lady in rather a
delicate. (Dickens)stop and interchange a rather heated look. (Dickens)) Ways
of expressing the meaning of the English articles in Russian.meaning of the
English article may sometimes be expressed in Russian by means of:
Pour the water into the
Налейте воду в стакан. some water
into the glass.
Налейте воды в стакан.
(b) word order.
A woman came up to me and
asked what time it was. Ко мне подошла женщина и спросила, который час. The woman has
come. Женщина пришла.
(c) the words один, какой-то, какой-нибудь (the
indefinite article), этот, тот самый (the definite
A man is waiting for you
Вас внизу ждет какой-то человек.
Do you know Nina? Yes, I
do. I like the girl immensely.
Вы знаете Нину? Знаю. Мне очень нравится
Special difficulties in
the use of articles.) The use of articles with the nouns day, night, morning,
evening.nouns day, night, morning, evening are used without articles:
(a) if day und
morning mean 'light' and night and evening mean 'darkness', or if they denote a
certain part of the day.
The sun had gone and
night had come. (Abrahams)is meant for work, night for sleep.was evening. The
river was before them. (Dreiser)
(b) in the
expressions by day. at night, from morning till night. It is easier to work by
day than at night.
The definite article is
used when these nouns are modified by a particularizing attribute or when the
situation makes them definite.will never forget the day when he met her. The
night was warm and beautifully still. (Voynich)definite article is also used in
the expressions: in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening.indefinite
article is used when the noun is modified by a descriptive attribute.spent a
sleepless night.the nouns morning and evening are modified by the adjectives early
and late, no articles are used because these adjectives do not describe the
morning or night, but only show the time.was early morning when the train
pulled into the little siding. (Abrahams)) The use of articles with names of
seasons.of seasons are used without articles if they show a certain time of the
year.was spring. I like spring.definite article is used when these nouns are
modified by a particularizing attribute or when the situation makes them
definite.happened in the spring of 1930, The spring was cold and
rainy.indefinite article is used when these nouns are modified by a descriptive
attribute.was a cold spring.names of seasons are modified by the adjectives
early or late, no articles are used.was early spring.) The use of articles with
the nouns school, college, bed, prison, jail.nouns school, college, bed,
prison, jail are used without an article when they lose their concrete meaning
and express the purpose for which the objects denoted by these nouns
serve.these nouns denote concrete objects the articles are used according to
the general principle.
(a) School, college.be at
> to be a schoolboy
(schoolgirl) go to school be at college - to be a student of a college to leave
school - to finish or drop one's studiesbegins at five.went to College in the
North. (Gow and D'Usseau)history since he left school had been indicated in the
last. (Thackeray)was at seventeen that he decided to leave school.go to the
school - not as a pupil (the building is meant)leave the school - to leave the
buildingwent to the school yesterday to attend a parents' meeting.left the
school at 7 o'clock.worked at a school in Siberia.
to go to bed - ложиться спатьbe in bed - лежать в постелиnow you had
better go to bed. Good-night. (Voynich)be in the bed
> an article of
furniture is meantbe on the bed portrait was on the wall beside the bed.
(c) Prison, jail.
to be in prison (in jail)
- to be a prisonerbe sent to prison
> as a prisoner
to be put in prison .
Dorrit was in prison many years. Mr. Dorrit was sent to prison for debt.last
they had heard of him was that he was in jail for having killed a person in a
fight. (Abrahams)be in the prison
as a prisoner (the building is meant) go to the prison. Dorrit's family lived
in the prison.prison proper dated from 1822. (Dreiser)) The use of articles
with the noun town.noun town when used with prepositions does not take an:
(a) when we mean the
nearest town (if we live in the country) or the town we liv.e in.
You cannot go to town
to-morrow. (Austen) What can you have to do in town...? (Austen)
(b) when the noun
town is opposed to the noun country.
He was not used to
country life, having spent twenty years in town.the noun town is used with the
definite or indefinite article.want to go to the town where I was born.) The
use of articles with the names of meals.of meals are used without articles.did
you have dinner?dinner ready?is cooking dinner.they were at breakfast, the
letters were brought in. (Austen)have finished breakfast, ring the bell. (Ch.
Bronte)definite article is used when the nouns are modified by a
particularizing attribute or when the situation makes them definite.dinner we
had to-day was very substantial. The dinner was a success.indefinite article is
used if the name of a meal is modified by a descriptive attribute.a hearty
breakfast the four gentlemen sallied forth to walk to Gravesend. (Dickens)) The
use of articles with names of languages.of languages when they are not followed
by the noun language are used without articles:knows English.the peculiar use
of the definite article in: (1) It is a translation from the English (the
French, etc.), (2) What is the English (the French, etc.) for 'сосна'?definite
article is used if the noun is modified by a particularizing attribute:English
of America differs from the English of England.the noun language is mentioned
the definite article is used: the English language, the German language.of
articles with nouns modified by certain adjectives, pronouns and numerals. )
(a) Most +
adjective.definite article is used when most serves to form the superlative
degree of an adjective.
This is the most interesting chapter in the book.
The use of the indefinite
article shows that a high degree of a quality is meant. Most has the same
meaning as very, exceedingly.found that the old maid had been a most devoted
daughter and sister. (Ch. Bronte)- Occasionally the form of the superlative
degree does not express comparison, but a high degree of a quality.listened with
the most profound attention. He listened with the deepest attention.same
phenomenon is found in Russian:
Он слушал с глубочайшим вниманием.
(b) Most + of +
noun.definite people or things are meant the noun is used with the definite
article and most is followed by the preposition of.of the flowers in the garden
were planted by the schoolchildren.of the gentlemen looked both angry and
uncomfortable. (Voynich)say most, not most of the, when we do not mean definite
people or things. The noun is used in a general sense.flowers smell sweet.)
Few, a few, the few; little, a little, the little.means 'мало', it has a
negative meaning.few means 'несколько', it has a positive meaning. few means 'те немногие (которые)'.
He was a very good man.
There are few like him in the world to-day. (Abrahams)left after a few moments.
(Dreiser)need not fear to hear the few remaining words we have to say.
(Dickens)means 'мало', it has a negative meaning.little means 'некоторое количество', it has a
positive meaning. little means 'небольшое количество (которое)'.
We can't go skiing
to-day. There is too little snow.have a little time. Let us take a walk in the
garden.'t waste the little time you have.) Two, the two; three, the three,
etc.means 'два'.two means 'оба, те два'.students
entered the room.two friends travelled together.
The two books you lent me proved very
d) The second, a
second.second is an ordinal numeral meaning 'второй'.second attempt proved
more successful than the first.second means 'another, one more'. Having eaten
the gruel, Oliver asked for a second portion.the third, a third, the fourth, a
fourth, etc. we see the same difference in meaning.made an experiment which
proved his theory. He made a second, a third, a fourth experiment with the same
results.second time means 'once more'.rang the bell, but nobody answered it, so
I had to ring a second time.) Another, the other.pronoun another has two
(a) 'какой-либо другой'.
Give me another pen, I
don't like this one.
(b) 'еще один'.
I am thirsty; 1 should
like another cup of tea. The other means 'определенный другой'. There are two books here,
take one and I'll take the other.) Last, the last.modified by the adjective
last are always used with the definite article except in the expressions last
month, last year, last week, last summer (winter, autumn, spring).last word
remained with George.summer, in Switzerland, he was quite well. (Voynich)) Next,
the next.means 'будущий' when referring to time: next month, next week.next means 'следующий': the next
room, at the next lesson. Next time means 'в следующий раз'.
We shall discuss this
matter next time.reference to time viewed from the past both next and the next
mean 'следующий'.spent a
fortnight in Kiev. The next week was spent in Odessa (or: Next week was spent
in Odessa).) A number, the number.number of means 'many'. It is rendered in
Russian by много, ряд.number means
'число, количество'.father and a
number of his cronies were in the dining-room. (Dreiser)number of mistakes he
makes is startling.of the articlethe article is not used where we naturally
expect to find it in accordance with the rules. No change of meaning is
observed in these cases.article is often omitted in newspaper headings,
telegrams, in stage directions.Blast Kills Woman. (Dally Worker) Girl Gymnast
Keeps Title. (Moscow News)article is often omitted with homogeneous members
closely connected with each other and joined by the conjunction and. In most
cases they go in pairs.breakfast was taken away, and that meal over, it was the
general custom of uncle and niece to separate. (Ch. Bronte)analyses of
theoretical and practical aspects of the English articles enabled to make the following
1. Considering the
process of the historical development of the English articles there appeared
two concepts according to the first of which the article is the notional part
of speech and according to the second it is one of the forms of Adjectives.
Most scientists supported the first point of view in the 19th century, but at
the same time there existed a theory that included the article into the class
of Pronouns or into the class of Adjectives. In the 20th century the article
was not considered to be a notional part of speech by a wide range of
scientists. In our work we support the thought that the article is a notional
part of speech as it posesses three characteristics (the lexico-grammatical
meanings of ”(in)definiteness”; the right-hand combinability with nouns; the
function of noun specifiers) which make us believe that the English article is
a notional part of speech.
2. The syntactical
role of the article consists in marking off a noun or a noun phrase as a part
of the sentence.
morphological value of the article lies in indicating the substantivization of
other parts of speech, mainly adjectives or participles, also pronouns,
. The main
functions of the indefinite article are: classifying, generic and numerical.
. The two main
functions of the definite article are specifying and generic.
. The absence of
any article, which is sometimes referred to as the zero article, is as
meaningful as their actual use. It is regularly observed with countable nouns
in the plural, with non-counts used in a general sense, with proper nouns.
. The omission of
an article differs from the absence of an article in that it is stylistically
or traditionally determined.translation contextual indefinite
aspects of translation of the definite and indefinite articles
to a concrete detailed
analyses of ways and methods of rendering English articles into Russian it is
very important to mention the category of Definiteness and Indefiniteness as it
can give a considerable semantic shade of meaning.
2.1 The Category of
Definiteness and Indefiniteness
noun in English and
Russian, as in other languages, possesses the semantic category of definiteness
and indefiniteness [39, c.412].In other words, when a noun (even a proper name)
or family/geographical name is taken out of its context to which it belonged,
its meaning may not be definitely understood, i.e. identified. Thus, the proper
names Mykola, Petro or Anatoliy when used for the first time (eg. I met
Petro/Mykola yesterday evening) may not be definite enough for the listener or
collocutor who may inquire: which Petro/Mykola? Your friend/cousine Petro/Mykola?
You mean your co-student Petro/Mykola? etc. Even when one uses the geographical
name like Beskyd the real meaning of this proper noun may not be clear to the
listener who has not enough preliminary information about the used name. This
is because "Beskyd" may be the name of a mountain in the Carpathians
as well as a tourist camp or a hotel there. Similarly identified must also be
many other nouns in Russian despite its being a predominantly synthetic by
structure language. Similarly when one hears the English king's name Charles,
one would naturally inquire which king Charles? The first, the third or the
fifth? Only when the substantivized numeral is added (Charles the First or
Charles the Third, etc.), will the King's name become definite (clearly and finally
The category of definiteness and indenfiniteness
may be identified in English and Russian both at language level (when the noun
is out of a concrete context) and at speech level, i.e. in oral presentation or
in a written microtext. The main means of making the noun definite in English
is to use the definite or indefinite (zero) article or any other determining or
identifying adjunct. For example: Bristol (zero article) means the town of
Bristol, whereas the Bristol is the name of a hotel or an inn, ship, etc.
Similarly even with such a proper noun as Россия which, when
used without the definite article, means the country of Russia, but when
presented in inverted commas it will mean anything: готель " Россия ", концертний зал " Россия " or an
agricultural en terprise/joint venture " Россия ". The
definite article may also determine, i.e. make definite some other groups (or
single) nouns as, for example, those denoting generic nouns or unique objects
on the globe, or even in the universe as in the following sentences: The lion
is a wild animal. The sun is a bright celestial body. The Bible is a holy book
of all Christians.
The category of
definiteness may be also indicated by syntactic, i.e. lexico-syntactic means.
Even when preceded by a numeral (the first or the second congress) it remains
far from semantically identified. Only when explicated by one more identifier -
the first congress of ecologists, the noun congress becomes more or less
exhaustively identified.category of indefiniteness apart from being indicated
in English by the indefinite article a/an, may also be made explicit by the
indefinite pronouns any, some, etc., and by the numeral one as well as by the
indefinite article plus an adjectival, participial or any other adjunct. Eg: There
is some boy wants to see you. (King) "Was there a Mr Palgrave?" (H.E.
Bates) - "there's a marvelously good restaurant called L'Ocean about
six or seven miles down the coast". (Ibid.) Cf. expression of
indefiniteness in Russian is likewise realized with the help of the indefinite
pronouns, through the indefinite numeral or via the indefinite pronouns, plus
the adjuncts expressing the characteristic features of the person or object.
English where indefiniteness is expressed via the corresponding markers, in
Russian it may sometimes be expressed also through grammatical shifting of the
indefinite noun into the final position of the sentence [39, c.417]. For
door opened and the teacher entered the classroom.
открылась и учитель вошел в класс.
indefiniteness, the noun will be shifted to the final position:
mutiny on the Bounty is the most famous of all mutinies at sea, and it was
probably the most gentle - although three of the mutineers were eventually
hanged from the yardarm of a Royal Navy ship in Portsmouth Harbour.
на «Баунти» - самый известный из всех морских мятежей и, пожалуй, самый
бескровный, хотя трое мятежников и были в конце концов повешены на рее
военного фрегата в Портсмутской гавани.
2.2 Rendering of the
contextual meaning of the definite and indefinite articles
researchers do not pay
enough attention to the translation of the articles. But nevertheless some of
them (I.V.Korunets, V.I.Karaban) [28,39] consider that when rendering the
lexical meaning of the definite and indefinite articles into Russian one should
consider that they are meaningful and attention should be payed to their
functional meanings in the sentences or word-combinations. of the researches
who supports the idea of the necessity of translating definite and indefinite
articles is Korunets. He thinks that the article, both the definite and
indefinite, is a functional word serving to identify or determine the noun (cf.
to work-the work), the superlative degree of its quality (the tallest tree) or
the order of nouns in a word-group (the first step) or in a row of similar
nouns. In some prepositional phrases and word-combinations the definite and
indefinite articles, however, may change their lexico-grammatical nature
(become a particle), as in the expression the more, the better (чим більше, тим
краще), or acquire some peculiar grammatical, functional and lexical
meaning; the article may be lexicalized as in the Alps/the Carpathians
the baker's/butcher's. Such and the like lexicalized articles, naturally, in no
way weaken or lose their determining, i.e., grammatical function. As a result,
their lexical meaning is inseparable in these cases from their functional
meaning. The determining and lexicalizing nature of the definite and indefinite
articles also manifests itself in several set expressions (cf. in the cart, in
a word, what a pity, all of a sudden, etc.)
1). On several other
occasions the definite/indefinite article may acquire some lexical meaning in
contextual environment (only for a time) and thus serve as a peculiar means of
«expressive connotation»1. This kind of articles is each time endowed in
different contextual environments with some quite different meaning, which may
be, nevertheless, of implicitly different semantic and lexico-grammatical/
logically-grammatical type, as for instance, that of a demonstrative,
possessive, identifying, indefinite or some other pronoun: Cf.: He lived more
poorly than an artisan. (S. Maugham). Carot never sold a picture.
) That of an
adjunctive/identifying adjective and a specifying or modal particle:... and she
had acquired a reputation for neatness and accuracy (Maugham). She would have
called him a fish. (Carrol).
) A distinctly nominal or
rather nominalizing meaning. The latter can be explicitly illustrated in the
following sentence. He (Mr. Gills) took it (the bottle) up and having surveyed
and smelt it said with extraordinary expression: «The?» «The», returned the
instrument maker. (Ch. Dickens)real meaning of thus emphasized article can be
disclosed only in the sentence that follows, where Mr. Gills fills the glass
with liquour and drinks it. Without the broader context it would certainly be
impossible to guess what this definite nominalizing article stands for in the
extract. Nor is it always easy for our students to identify in some sentences
the rhematic and the thematic function of article; and to express their
meaning. Therefore, the occurrence of lexically meaningful articles is not
occasional or accidental, for it is predetermined by context. Due to this, the
number of lexically meaningful articles in different speech substyles often
varies. Their occurrence can also depend on the personal taste of the author
who may be more or less inclined to use them in his narrative. But whatever
their quantity, none of the lexically meaningful articles should be ignored о overlooked in the
passage under translation and its meaning must be correctly rendered in the
target language.order to faithfully convey each kind of the aforementioned
meaningful articles, the student will be advised first of all to subject the
whole passage, which is to be translated, to a thorough content analysis in
order to select possible lexical substitutes for the article in the target
language. The substitutes in languages like Russian, which have no functionals
of the kind, can differ by their logico-grammatical nature, as well as be
contextually synonymous Because of this the choice of the contextually
equivalent substitutes depends much on the translator who, when selecting a
fitting lexical equivalent for the article, has to take some factors into
consideration These include first of all the semantic factor playing a
predominant role, and the stylistic factor eliminating an unnecessary
repetition of the same equivalent substitute in sentences close by. In other words,
the co-occurrence of the same synonymous substitutes must bе strictly regulated.
Besides, the translator has to keep it in mind, that some contextual meanings
of the definite article may seem similar 1.1 those of the indefinite
article and vice versa. Hence, the translator should be no less attentive to
the style of his target language pas sage which in its turn will help him
achieve a faithful translation of sentences or the passage as a whole, where
both the defining and the nominalizing lexically charged articles are
used.conveying the lexical meanings of the definite and indefinite articles
into Russian, attention should be paid to their functional meanings in the
sentence/word-combinations. Thus, the meanings of the definite article are
usually expressed through different Russian attributive pronouns, adjectives,
participles, adverbs or cardinal/ordinal numerals. The meaning of the numeral
one, on the other hand, is always expressed only through the indefinite
article, which is historically derived from this part of speech. Cf.: Most of
felllows in the Quarters share a studio. (Maugham).nominalizing articles are
mostly rendered through the parts of speech having the functions of attributes
to the noun: «... I believe that a young person in a city tea-shop has left her
situation. (Maugham).emphatically used articles, on the other hand, have
usually particles for their contextual equivalents in Russian: But I must
content myself with a few paragraphs. (Maugham).rhematic use of the articles
introducing the new information, a new core of an utterance, and its thematic
use repeating the already known information about an object or event is often
disclosed in Russian sentences by other than lexical means, as will be shown
further. Still, the bulk of meanings which the lexically charged articles can
acquire due to their syntagmatic environment in speech are those of pronouns.
This can also be seen from the citied illustrations on the forthcoming pages.
Realization of the
contextual meanings of the definite article
The definite article when
endowed with the lexical meaning in a sentence or passage can have various
realizations in Russian. It is expedient to begin with the most common of them
which may refer not only to nouns but to other parts of speech as well, as for
) as the demonstrative
his sister has seen in the man was beyond him. (J.London)
Что его сестра
нашла в этом человеке позади нее.
All cited instances in
illustration of the lexical meaning of articles, unless indicated otherwise,
have been picked up from J.London's works and their translations in Russian
argument is unconvincing.
3) as the possessive pronoun:
The room was situated over the. laundry
находилась над прачечной. Його кімната була/ знаходилась над пральнею...
4) as the identifying
many possibilities opened up by the solution were not availed of.
возможности открывшиеся в святи с решением не были использованы.
5) as the relative
you hear the thing I had to say?
ли ты новость которую я тебе должен был рассказать?
6) as the indefinite
the moment she thought she was going to be sick.
какой то момент она подумала о том что ей будет больно.
7) as the identifying
toil meant nothing to him.
ничего не значил для него
8) as an adjective or
adjectivized participle (according to the contextual meaning):
Eden did not go out to hunt for a job in the morning.
не пошел искать работу утром.
9) as a particle
emphasizing the attributive pronoun, numeral or some other part of speech:
It needed the excitement of
getting a part or a first night…
получить волнение в первую ночь
rheme, the notional
element in the utterance, is more frequently indicated in English by the
indefinite article determining the noun in the initial position. When
translated into Russian, however, the rhematic noun, as has long been noticed1,
occupies a terminating position in the sentence/clause (when the utterance is a
composite sentence):correct selection of thematic and rhematic nouns,
identified by the definite and indefinite articles and by their respective
placement in the sentence, facilitates the faithful conveying of the logical
sentence perspective in the target language.
Realization of the
contextual meanings of the indefinite article
Strange as it may seem
but very often, almost predominantly, the indefinite article is endowed in
speech/text with lexical meanings, which may coincide with those of different
pronouns. The only exception is made for the meaning of the cardinal numeral «one»
from which the indefinite article historically originates. No wonder that the
contextual meanings of the lexically charged indefinite article can sometimes
be, as will be seen further on, quite unexpected. The most frequent and common
of these meanings can be expressed, as has been mentioned already, in one of
the following ways:
1) In some contexts,
however, the indefinite article may acquire a lexical meaning which corresponds
either to the Russian cardinal numeral один, to the ordinal numeral перший or to the
indefinite pronoun. The indefinite article may also mark the rheme of the
utterance as in the sentence: Only for an instant he hesitated, then his head
went up and his hand came off. (J. London) In this sentence any of the
above-given substitutes may be quite faithful, since the cardinal or ordinal
numeral and the indefinite pronoun are equally fitting in the utterance, which
in Russian will have another position:
)By the indefinite
pronoun, without the attendant meanings of the cardinal or ordinal numerals
4) when the lexically
meaningful indefinite article precedes the noun under logical stress, it
functions as the demonstrative pronoun, which is translated into Russian.
) As one of the
possessive pronouns (according to their contextual meaning).
6) As the negative
pronoun оr the negative
the determined noun is preceded by the negative particle not):
) as the relative
adjective цілий which is lexically equivalent in the sentences below to the
Russian identifying pronoun.
8)More common in Russian
contextual substitutes for the lexically meaningful indefinite article are,
however, different relative adjectives, the most often used.
) The contextual meaning
of the indefinite article may sometimes be expressed in Russian through different
adverbs.above-given lexical realizations of the determining and identifying
functions of the definite and indefinite articles would be incomplete without
the illustration of some other meanings, which they may acquire in contextual
environment. The choice of the semantically fitting substitute for the definite
or indefinite article then rests entirely with the translator, who is well
acquainted with the text/ work under translation. Since the style of the text
may often influence or predetermine the choice of the necessary synonym, care
should be taken in order not to neglect the possible ways of expression in
Russian either. Thus, the lexical meaning of the indefinite article a in the
sentence - I didn't dare show my face at Court for a month. (0. Wilde) - could
be faithfully expressed in Russian either through the identifying pronoun весь or by its
lexical equivalent at sentence level, which is the relative adjective цілий. But the
translator of The Picture of Dorian Gray (R. Dotsenko) has suggested for this
particular case a more acceptable contextual version.
10) The broader
context often predetermines the employment of lexically equivalent variants
which could scarcely ever be offered for a narrow context. The kind of
contextual substitutes can be seen in the examples below, where Russian
demonstrative and other pronouns, adjectives, numerals, etc., are
contextually/semantically enforced by emphatic or modal particles. Thus, the
contextual meaning of the indefinite article below is expressed through an adjective
enforced by an emphatic or some other particle or group of particles.
) The contextual meaning
of the indefinite article may be ex
pressed through the interrogative or indefinite pronoun also enforced
by some emphatic particles.
Note: Apart from the
above-cited contextual meanings of the definite and the indefinite articles
there may be some other (implicit) meanings of them. Thus, the definite article
may sometimes have the following additional realizations in Russian.) that of a
pronominal word-group of an emphatic force:
The identifying definite
article may include in its semantic information some specifying function and
meaning too:implicit contextual meanings of the modifying and identifying
definite article the can often be given a true and faithful explication i.e.
realization in translation only after a thorough study of the broader content
as well. Cf.:) Sometimes the article may substitute an implicit identifying/
interrogative pronoun and a particle expressing the contextual meaning of the
emphatically used noun with the definite article. This can be seen in the
following exclamatory sentence:picture of contextual realizations of meanings
pertained to the determining and identifying articles would be incomplete
without some illustrations of their «deep», as one might call them, or
interphrasal and superphrasal meanings, which the articles may acquire in some
contexts. The interphrasal meaning of the definite or indefinite article may be
elicited already from its contextual meaning at the level of the sentence.
Cf.:meaning of the noun with the indefinite article (an expression) is clearly
perceived from the content of the sentence where it may also be substituted.or
less transient is also the meaning of the underlined noun with the definite
article in the following sentence.some cases, however, it is next to impossible
to translate a noun with the implicit meaning of its identifying or specifying
article without an inquiry into the broader context of the whole work, as in
the following sentence.goes without saying that such a descriptive translation
of the noun (a scholarship) could be offered only by a translator well
acquainted with the content of the preceding sentences or even of the whole
paragraph.are, naturally, many more contextual realizations of the"
lexical meanings, pertaining to the definite and the indefinite articles, which
they may acquire in a text/at speech level.view of the diversity of possible
lexical realizations, which the English articles may have in speech, the
student will be warned to employ not only their single word equivalents to
express their meanings in Russian. A thorough study of the broader context may
sometimes help to find a more fitting substitute for a lexically charged
indefinite or definite article in Russian. Thus, in the sentence He had a face
that reminded me of a frog. (W.Lewis) and But how in heaven’s name could they
raise a sum like that? the bold type indefinite article a can not be denied the
meaning of the demonstrative pronoun таке. All this must be borne in
mind when dealing with the lexically meaningful articles in the sentences of
the exercise below. Unfortunately, the restricted space of the manual makes it
impossible to give regular passages with the implicit (contextual) meanings of
the definite and the indefinite articles.analyses of more than 500 cases of
translation of English articles into Russian enabled to make the following conclusions:
1. The meanings of
the definite article are usually expressed through different Russian
attributive pronouns, adjectives, participles, adverbs or cardinal/ordinal
2. The meanings of
the indefinite article are usually expressed through the cardinal numeral one,
by the indefinite pronoun, as the demonstrative, as one of the possessive
pronouns, as the negative pronoun, or the negative particle, as different relative
adjectives, the most often used being;as different adverbs, as an adjective
enforced by an emphatic or some other particle or group of particles, as am
interrogative or indefinite pronoun also enforced by some emphatic particles.
3. The category of
Definiteness and Indefiniteness which influences the way of rendering from English
into Russian a lot is equally pertained to both contrasted languages.
results of our research enable use to draw some
1. Article is a determining unit of
specific nature accompanying the noun in communicative collocation. Two
articles in the English language - definite article the and indefinite one a -
have different meanings and different functions. The use of the articles has
generally grammatical meaning and falls under definite rules.
2. The definite article has developed from the
Old English demonstrative pronoun. Hence the indefinite article originates from
the Old English numeral one.
3. The article is a
notional part of speech as it posesses three characteristics (the
lexico-grammatical meanings of ”(in)definiteness”; the right-hand combinability
with nouns; the function of noun specifiers)
. The syntactical role of
the article consists in marking off a noun or a noun phrase as a part of the
. The morphological value
of the article lies in indicating the substantivization of other parts of
speech, mainly adjectives or participles, also pronouns, adverbs, numerals.
. The main functions of
the indefinite article are: classifying, generic and numerical.
. The two main functions
of the definite article are specifying and generic.
. Since the meaning of
the article comes to the fore in certain contexts it should not be ignored in
the translation. The analysis of the works of S.Maugham, J.London translated
into Russian showed that translators reproduce the meaning of the definite
article through different Russian attributive pronouns, adjectives,
participles, adverbs or cardinal/ordinal numerals. The meanings of the
indefinite article are usually expressed through the cardinal numeral one, by
the indefinite pronoun, as the demonstrative pronoun, as one of the possessive
pronouns, as the negative pronoun, or the negative particle, as different relative
adjectives, the most often used being;as different adverbs, as an adjective
enforced by an emphatic or some other particle or group of particles, as am
interrogative or indefinite pronoun also enforced by some emphatic particles.
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