Articles are not always necessary. There are occasions when a noun in a sentence need not be preceded by a definite article (the) or indefinite article (a, an). In such a case, the term zero article is used.

 

No article is used when making generalization with plural countable nouns and singular uncountable nouns.

Examples:

  • Cars are still expensive for lower-income people. (Countable noun)
  • Flying is far safer than driving. (Uncountable noun)

 

 

Zero article: 

Examples:

  • He travels to work by train.
  • Not: He travels to work by a/the train. 
  • She loves taking photos of caterpillars.
  • Not: She loves taking photos of the caterpillars

 

 

Zero article:

Examples:

before name of materials:

  • Gold is found in Australia.
  • NotThe gold is found in Australia.
  • They are mining for tin.  
  • Not: They are mining for the tin.

before abstract nouns used in a general sense:

  • It is said that money cannot buy happiness..
  • Not: Money cannot buy the happiness.
  • We always expect total honesty from our employees..
  • Not: We always expect the total honesty from our employees.

before proper nouns:

  • He is a fan of Michael Jackson.
  • Not: He is a fan of the Michael Jackson.
  • She gave birth to twins in June.  
  • Not: She gave birth to twins in the June.

     

before illness:

  • She came down with measles and had to stay in bed.
  • Not: She came down with the measles and had to stay in bed.
  • Our family doctor suffers from asthma.
  • Not: Our family doctor suffers from the asthma

before the name of cities, states, countries, islands, or mountains:

  • India achieved independence in 1947.
  • NotThe india achieved independence in 1947..
  • Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain.
  • NotThe Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain.