Uses of articles: some special points

Articles with television, radio etc

When we talk about television as a form of entertainment, we do not use articles.

He spends a lot of time watching TV.

She writes plays for television.

When the reference is to the television set, we use articles.

Don’t stand in front of the TV. I can’t see anything. (Here the reference is to the television set. And hence we use the article the.)

There is a spider on the TV. (= There is a spider on the television set.)

Articles are usually used with the nouns radio, cinema and theatre.

I like to listen to the radio while I am working.

We are going to the theatre. Would you like to come with us?

Jobs and positions

To talk about people’s jobs, we use the article a/an.

She is an engineer.

My mother is a teacher.

Articles are not used in the structure title + name.

Queen Victoria (NOT The Queen Victoria)

President Obama (NOT The President Obama)

I want to meet Dr. Johnson. (NOT I want to meet the Dr. Johnson.)

But you can say: I want to meet the doctor.

Articles in exclamations

The article a/an is used with singular countable nouns in exclamations after what.

What a lovely flower! (NOT What lovely flower!)

Note that articles are not used in exclamations with uncountable nouns.

What luck! (NOT What a luck!)