I saw grammar books saying how and where the article should be, but I cannot see them saying there should be an article before a noun, or a noun should have an article in front of it. Is it kind of custom or something?

1 Answer 1


You only need to put an article before a noun when it is singular. If it's plural, an article isn't necessary but it's presence or lack thereof can alter the sentence's meaning.

Singular noun:

  1. He punched boy. - This is grammatically incorrect.

  2. He punched a boy. - This is grammatically correct but we don't know which boy.

  3. He punched the boy. This is grammatically correct. We're talking about a specific boy.

Plural noun:

  1. He punched boys. - This is grammatically correct but due to the lack of an article, this sentence could be interpreted as "he often punched boys".

  2. He punched the boys. - This is grammatically correct. It means that he punched a specific set of boys.

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