What is the difference between definite and indefinite nouns?

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literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Definite nouns refer to a specific number of things. For example, a definite noun is "bird." When readers come across this noun, they are sure of how many birds the sentence, or phrase, is referring to. Given that the word "bird" is singular, a reader knows that it refers to one bird. On the other hand, when one comes across the word "birds," he or she is not certain of the number; therefore, the noun is indefinite. The reader is only aware that more than one bird is referring to, given the word "birds" is plural. One must also be sure to examine the article ("a" and "the"). "A" is an indefinite article (it refers to a general, not specific, noun), while "the" is a definite article (given it refers to a specific noun).


sid-sarfraz's profile pic

sid-sarfraz | Student, Graduate | (Level 2) Salutatorian

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Noun is said to be definite when we are talking about specific name, place or thing. Basically word THE is used to talk about any noun specifically. Like for example;

  • Muslims pray at THE mosque 5 times a day.
  • My daughter is at THE park playing with other kids.

Noun is said to be indefinite when we are talking generally about any place, thing or animal. "A" or "AN" represents indefinite nouns. Like for example;

  • AN apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  • Let's play A game.

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