(1) a用在子音前; an用在母音前。
(2) 表同种类的全体, 此时a带有any的意味。
A dog is a faithful animal. (=Dogs are faithful animals.)
I have a sister and two brothers.
(4) 等于the same.
Birds of a feather flock together.
We work eight hours a day. Ninety miles an hour.
(6) a = a certain, 表说话者不认识此人。
Do you know a Mr. Smith?
(7) 物质名词或抽象名词加a (an)即成普通名词，
Asparagus is a grass. (a = a kind of).
This is a good cloth for summer.
(8) “have (or take) a 抽象名词”，与抽象名词的动词形同义。
Let us take am. = Let usm.
(1) 由于上下文的关系, 某名词所指的东西已非常明显, 或已有一定的范围, 该名词应加the。
Shut the door.
Please pass me the caster.
The cow is a useful animal. (= Cows are useful animals.)
Once upon a time there was a little boy who lived in a cottage.
The cottage was in the country, and the boy lived there all his life.
This is the book that I promised to lend you.
The sun; the moon; the sky; the earth.
The sun rises in the east and set in the west.
To play the piano (violin, guitar, flute, etc.)
Gasoline is sold by the gallon.
Meat is sold by the catty.
(9) 在最高级的形容词或序数(the first...)之前要加the。
Taiwan is the best place to live in.
(A) 海、河、运河的名称：The Thames; the Bahamas;
(B) 复数形的专有名词: The West Indies; the Bahamas;
(C) 船泊的名称: The Queen Mary; the Flying Scotsman; the Comet;
(D) 书报、杂志、经典的名称： the Times; the Central Daily News; the Koran;
(E) 公共建筑、机关的名称: The Ritz Hotel; the Ministry of Education;
(F) 国民的总称: the French; the Japanese; the Chinese;
(G) 用在姓氏的复数前指其全家人: The Chens will move to the country.