The definite article in English is “the”

The indefinite article is “a” or “an”.

Before a vowel (a,e,i,o,u) we use “an” eg “an elephant”.

Before a consonant (b,c,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,m,n,p,q,r,s,t,v,w,x,y,z) we use “a” eg “a dog”

We use “a” to show any one (no specific one)

He went to a restaurant.

He went to a travel agent.

After that if we refer to the same object or place in the same conversation again, we use “the”.

He ate lunch in the restaurant.

He bought a ticket at the travel agent.

Look at the conversation “I was doing yoga” to see examples.

Note that there is no article with proper names of people eg “Mark” not “the Mark” or places eg “Delhi” not “the Delhi”

Note that “a travel agent” becomes “the travel agent” for the rest of the conversation because it is the same travel agent. If you say “a travel agent”, it would mean another one (not the same one).

Note that “a Japanese guy” becomes “the Japanese guy” because it is the same guy.

Note that “another customer” becomes “the other customer” because it is the same customer.

Test: If you wanted to ask the Japanese guy about the price of his yoga class, would you ask:

How much was a yoga class?


How much was the yoga class?

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