I am learning English. I have one confusion about articles. I have gone through one usage of articles in English. What I can use with word 'Rain' Should it be 'a' or 'The'.

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    The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. A rain of spears fell upon the advancing army. Rain is a favourite topic of conversation in England. Aug 1, 2019 at 18:15

2 Answers 2


"Rain" is often used with no article:

  • Rain is falling.
  • We expect rain this evening.
  • We expect it to rain this evening.
  • We expect rain to start this evening.

If you've mentioned a particular rainfall event, you might refer back to it with "the rain":

  • There was terrible storm last night. The rain went on for hours.
  • The rain kept us from taking our walk.

"A rain" is much less common. You might see phrases like "a gentle rain" or "a hard rain", but you'll rarely see the phrase "a rain".

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    Thanks for explanation. It clears confusion. Aug 1, 2019 at 18:20
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    You're very welcome. I know what articles sound right in English, but I often can't explain why they're right or wrong. English must be a terrible struggle if your native language doesn't use articles as often. (English is a terrible struggle, period!)
    – jeffB
    Aug 1, 2019 at 18:27
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    "A rain" is used but sometimes sounds rural: "A rain is coming on." You might also hear "before" or "after a rain," treating the rain as an event: "Why does it smell good after a rain?"
    – TaliesinMerlin
    Aug 1, 2019 at 18:34

Like most uncountable nouns, rain can be used with or without the, according to the general rules about the (which are complicated, I know).

Again like many uncountable nouns, it can be used countably (and so take a) when the reference is to different kinds of rain: eg "a persistent rain", "a gentle rain".

Unusually, rain can also be plural, but generally only in the sense of "the seasonal rainfall" of somewhere that distinguishes a dry and a rainy season. eg. "That year the rains came late".

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