According to Ben Yagoda's "When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It," the word "the" is the most commonly used word in the English language, occurring "nearly 62,000 times in every million words written or uttered — or about once every 16 words." Meanwhile, "a" ranks as the fifth most commonly used word — unfortunately for "an," it only ranks 34th, mostly due to the abundance of definite nouns (and situations calling for such).

Interestingly, Yagoda goes on to say that the differences between these three articles — and omitting articles altogether, known as the "zero article" — are so vast that most grammar books simply brush over the topic as implicitly understood. He adds that these books often say that by the age of four "native English speakers know in their bones the difference between 'I drank Coke,' 'I drank the Coke,' and 'I drank a Coke.'"

As a result, many second-language learners can find practical application of articles to be challenging, especially if they have to learn the entire meaning of noun definiteness if their native language lacks the concept. For instance, Payment Gateway Video  Chinese learners of English oftentimes underuse articles and overuse the zero article because their language does not call for articles in any fashion — it's assumed as part of their vernacular that you are referring to "the apple" when you say the Mandarin word for "apple."


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