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Articles with Plural Nouns

The indefinite articles a and an are used to modify singular nouns. When using a plural noun, these two articles are unnecessary. Plural nouns can take either a definite article or no article at all.

The definite article is the word the. It precedes a noun when something specific (i.e., definite) is being referred to.

The phone is ringing.

Indefinite articles, on the other hand, are used before nouns that are nonspecific within their class.

I bumped into a lady on the sidewalk.

We do not know from this statement who specifically this lady is. We only know generally that the person is a lady.

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Plural nouns can be used with the definite article or no article at all; to use an indefinite article would be incorrect.

I have a books in my locker.

I have books in my locker.
I have the books in my locker.

It is also unnecessary to use an indefinite article if there is an adjective in front of a plural noun.

When he is in public, he does an embarrassing things.

When he is in public, he does embarrassing things.
When he is in public, he does an embarrassing thing.

When selecting courses, there are a many options to choose from.

A is not necessary in this sentence and should be removed. However, if you want to refer to the specific quantity of options, the sentence can be rephrased to use the definite article the with a plural noun:

You may select courses from the many options available

You can explore more by reading Articles: Grammar Rules and Plural Nouns: Rules and Examples.

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