An Online Catalogue of English Grammar Exercises

"a" - when to choose 'a' and when to choose 'the'
Make these sentences into a story to practise changing 'a' into 'the':
The idea is that you use 'a' the first time you mention something. Then after that, you use 'the' because you know which one you are talking about - you have what's called 'shared knowledge'

The sentences below may look OK to you but they're not! They need 'a' or 'the'.
1. There's/woman in/supermarket with/child.
2. Woman/meets/friend.
3. They stop and chat.
4. Then/child takes/bottle from/shelf and puts it in/ woman's bag.
5. Child's mother doesn't notice so/woman goes to/check-out with/bottle in her bag and doesn't pay for it.
6.Fortunately/shop assistant has noticed what/child has done and told/ checkout girl.


There's a woman shopping in a supermarket with a child. The woman meets a friend and they stop and chat, then the child takes a bottle from a shelf and puts it in the woman's bag. The child's mother doesn't notice so the woman goes to the checkout with the bottle in her bag and doesn't pay for it. Fortunately a shop assistant has noticed what the child has done and has told the checkout girl.                                                                                                                     

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